Obama Energy Tour
President Obama visits the Copper Mountain Solar 1 power plant in Boulder City, Nevada, March 21, 2012. Obama is traveling to Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Ohio for events on his energy initiative. REUTERS

President Obama visited the nation's largest solar panel plant in Boulder City, Nev., Wednesday, touting the state as a pioneer in clean energy, while promoting his all-of-the-above energy agenda on a four-state tour.

Speaking at the Copper Mountain Solar 1 power plant, a massive field of photovoltaic solar panels in the Nevada desert, Obama talked about diversifying energy sources in the U.S.

I'll be talking about what we're calling an all-of-the-above energy strategy--all of the above, Obama told a crowd gathered in Boulder City, CNN reported. A strategy that relies on producing more oil and gas here in America, but also more biofuels, more fuel-efficient cars, more wind power and, as you can see, a whole lot more solar power.

The president's energy policy tour comes as criticism from Republicans in Congress and on the campaign trail mounts over rising gas prices. Obama defended his diversified energy strategy and specifically addressed critics of alternative and clean energy investments.

Some of these folks want to dismiss the promise of solar power and wind power and fuel-efficient cars, he said, CNN reported. In fact, they make jokes about it. One member of Congress who shall remain unnamed called these jobs 'phony'--called them phony jobs. I mean, think about that mindset, that attitude that says because something is new, it must not be real. If these guys were around when Columbus set sail, they'd be charter members of the Flat Earth Society.

These politicians need to come to Boulder City and see what I'm seeing, Obama said, the Las Vegas Sun reported.

Obama acknowledged the spike in gas prices and the need for domestic oil and gas production, but emphasized his intention to end federal subsidies for the petroleum industry, which he views as receiving unnecessary preferential treatment given its profitability.

We want to encourage production of oil and gas, and make sure that wherever we've got American resources, we are tapping into them, the president said, CNN reported. But they don't need an additional incentive when gas is $3.75 a gallon, when oil is $120 a barrel, $125 a barrel. They don't need additional incentives. They're doing fine.

Copper Mountain Solar 1 was built using $50 million in federal tax credits and provides 17,000 homes with energy. The plant only employs 10 full-time employees, but the president said that more investment in such projects would spur job creation in the green energy sector.

Given the fact that this is creating jobs, generating power, helping to keep our environment clean, making us more competitive globally, you'd think that everybody would be supportive of solar power, Obama said, CNN reported. That's what you'd think. And yet, if some politicians had their way, there won't be any more public investment in solar energy. There won't be as many new jobs and new businesses.