Tuesday, September 9, 2008

That Was Then And This Is Now


Jimmy Carter put solar panels on the White House roof, and offered tax credits to anyone who purchased solar energy systems. When Ronald Reagan took office, one of the first things he did was remove the solar panels from the White House and terminate the tax credits. Many people in the solar industry went out of business. The country was convinced that solar doesn't work.
The Time Between Then And Now:

Wasted years and bad leadership as far as energy is concerned. Ronald Reagan helped convince nearly everyone that solar doesn't work. The consensus was that Jimmy Carter was a doofus. Politicians talk a lot about taxes. Ronald Reagan is anointed to sainthood by the Right Wing. Oil consumption and more oil consumption. Rush Limbaugh inexplicably becomes a power-house media figure and further elevates Reagan (into godhood I suppose) while denouncing Carter, and talks a lot about taxes. Politicians talk some more about taxes. GM kills the EV1. Politicians keep talking about taxes. Wars and more wars fought over oil.

U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman inaugurated a solar energy system Tuesday at the department's headquarters in Washington.

The new system involves a 205 kilowatt photovoltaic solar array placed on the roof of the building. The photovoltaic system is 40- to 50 times the size of a typical residential PV system and is one of the largest in the Washington area, officials said. It is expected to save as much as $26,000 in utility costs during its first year of operation.

"As America's largest energy consumer, the U.S. government has the responsibility and the opportunity to lead the way to a cleaner, more efficient, more affordable and more secure energy future," Bodman said in prepared remarks. "I determined the Department of Energy should -- and would -- lead by example."

Bodman said the significance of the solar array is both practical and symbolic: "It improves the way the department consumes energy. And it is a symbol of America's commitment to using the best available new technologies to confront the energy challenges we face today and will face tomorrow."
Politicians are still talking about taxes.

Meanwhile I’m thinking that “affordable solar power for all” would be a good campaign slogan.

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