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Clinton uses 1st debate to reiterate push for solar, clean energy jobs

In the first of three debates between the two major partypresidential candidates, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton on Sept. 26reiterated her call for renewable energy development, making an appeal forbecoming a "clean energy superpower of the 21st century."

"We can deploy half a billion more solar panels,"Clinton said during a discussion on economic development. "We can haveenough clean energy to power every home. We can build a new modern electric grid.That's a lot of jobs. That's a lot of new economic activity."

Clinton has pushed for renewable energy development from thebeginning of her campaign, starting with an initial appeal for increased solarpanel deployment. Among the goals Clinton haspromoted is growing U.S. renewable generation by a third by 2027, increasinggreen energy on public lands and installing 500 million solar panels by the endof her first term.

Republican candidate Donald Trump dismissed the economicpotential of solar development, alluding to the U.S. Department of Energy'sloans to failed solarpanel manufacturer, Solyndra Inc.

"She talks about solar panels. We invested in a solarcompany, our country. That was a disaster. They lost plenty of money on thatone," Trump said.

While not citing much in the way of specific energy issues,Trump reiterated hisprevious calls for rolling back government regulations, arguing that "wehave regulations on top of regulations."

"Now, look, I'm a great believer in all forms ofenergy, but we're putting a lot of people out of work. Our energy policies area disaster. Our country is losing so much in terms of energy," Trump said.

Throughout the campaign season, Trump has repeatedly calledfor rolling back environmental regulations introduced by the Obamaadministration, which the GOP candidate has labeled as damaging to consumersand limiting to U.S. energy production. Trump's campaign has also for placing limits on theauthority and reach of federal agencies like the U.S. EPA.

He has also been critical of some renewable energy efforts,including wind power, which he has criticized for its impact on wildlife, andsolar energy, which he claims is too costly.

The first of three debates was held at Hofstra University inHempstead, N.Y. The second will be held on Oct. 9 at Washington Universityin St. Louis, followed by a final debate on Oct. 19 at the University of Nevadain Las Vegas.