September 17, 2010 1 Comment
Though I have never had to remove a post for my comments I will say that I happily rescind my thoughts on this post. Because the President has allowed solar to be installed on the White House. This is: “Leading by Example or Practicing what you Preach”
Now if only more members of the House and Senate will follow these examples just maybe we can turn the tables on: Climate Change, Economic Issues that are Troubling our Great Nation, Combatting Big Oil and Big Coal, and the various other issues plauging our country.
See the Latest Blog Post here: http://stlouisrenewableenergy.blogspot.com/2010/10/solar-on-white-house-and-my-letter-to.html
SOLAR: Shadow of Carter eclipses White House solar panel push
Environment and Energy Daily
September 14, 2010
Emily Yehle, E&E reporter
For the low monthly price of $537, Barack and Michelle Obama could be enjoying the benefits of solar energy, transforming the White House roof with 76 futuristic panels that would cut their electricity bill by 80 percent.
At least that is the very rough estimate drawn up by Sungevity, a solar power company that has joined forces with 350.org and other nonprofits to campaign for solar panels on the White House roof. In their eyes, it is a win-win: The White House becomes a more efficient household, and the president sends a symbolic message to the country.
But last week, White House officials essentially shot down the idea, telling 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben that they would deliberate about future possibilities and releasing a vague statement on Obama’s commitment to renewable energy. The rebuff left lots of room for interpretation: Why, exactly, is Obama, the champion of climate change legislation and strong environmental regulation, so averse to the idea?
Could it be Jimmy Carter?
Carter was the first and only president to put solar panels on the White House, installing a set in 1979 and extolling them as the way of the future. Six years later, the Reagan administration removed the panels for now-forgotten reasons.
That history has become a cornerstone of the recent solar campaign, with McKibben hauling a Carter solar panel to the White House last week. But Carter’s solar achievements may be beside the point; as midterm elections approach, Obama politically probably would not touch anything related to Carter with a 10-foot pole.
“It’s one thing after the midterms to compare yourself to Bill Clinton, the comeback kid,” said Stuart Rothenberg, editor of the Rothenberg Political Report, a nonpartisan tip sheet. “It’s another thing to compare yourself to someone who was, as president, a failure.”
Other theories exist as to why the White House is so touchy about solar panels. Some say the panels would not be effective enough to justify installing them; others blame it on bureaucracy. The New York Times’ Andrew Revkin hypothesized that putting solar panels on the roof would come up against difficult security hurdles in a post-9/11 world.
McKibben — whose group’s name reflects its goal of decreasing carbon dioxide to 350 parts per million in the atmosphere — said White House officials “wouldn’t give us a reason” for their apprehension.
“They said only that the WH had ‘a deliberate process’ for deciding, but while it may be deliberate it’s also a little obscure since they wouldn’t tell us what it was,” he said in an e-mail.
As for the touchy Carter connection, McKibben
“If we’d spent the last 30 years doing this, then China probably wouldn’t own the industry,” he said. “But frankly we weren’t thinking in election terms — our whole campaign is just predicated on telling the truth as we see it, starting with the number 350 at its core.”
Danny Kennedy, the founder of Sungevity, said Obama seemed warm to the idea when he met him in April at the Earth Day celebration in the White House Rose Garden.
“He said, ‘Oh I love that idea. How do we make that happen?” Kennedy recalled, adding that he has been in touch with government officials several times since, but to little avail. “If they don’t move soon, I feel like we kind of need to look for other leadership and people who will be willing to get with the program.”
But both McKibben and Kennedy concede that the panels would be largely symbolic — and that they are really hoping for changes in regulation and policy that will help the struggling solar industry.
Still, the Obamas might be missing out on those stylish black panels that have become a “status symbol” in California, according to Kennedy. Sungevity is even willing to throw in the $107,000 for parts and labor.
“It’s kind of like: When are you going to act, when are you going to walk the talk?” Kennedy said. “And when are you going to say it starts at home?”