Reid to host, US energy chief to headline 8th Vegas 'summit'

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LAS VEGAS (AP) — The nation's top energy official will again headline an annual green power conference when it is held Aug. 24 in Las Vegas, U.S. Sen. Harry Reid said Monday.

The theme for the eighth National Clean Energy Summit will be "Powering Progress," Reid said, and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz will be making his second keynote appearance in three years.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke last year, and Reid said Monday that her top political adviser, John Podesta, will again take part in this year's event. Podesta was a 2010 headliner.

Reid called it "an inevitability" that the world will turn to solar, wind and geothermal energy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit global climate change.

"Clean energy has got to come," Reid said. "Not fast enough for me, but it's coming."

Reid, who will retire in 2017 after his fifth term as senator from Nevada, said there may be other names to announce as the event gets closer. Reid began the conference in 2008, and it usually draws top Democratic political and clean energy business leaders.

Former President Bill Clinton has spoken at the conference several times. Tesla CEO Elon Musk is a past headliner. Vice President Joe Biden spoke in 2011.

Workshops, panels and speeches will again be at the Mandalay Bay resort, which touts a rooftop solar power array that was designed to generate nearly 20 percent of the electricity needed at the sprawling casino-hotel-convention property.

The property owner, MGM Resorts International, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Center for American Progress and will be among this year's sponsors, Reid said.

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