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White House Goes Solar

October 5, 2010

You may be familiar with the story.  Back in 1979, the forward-thinking President Jimmy Carter installed solar panels on the White House’s roof and offered tax credits to those who purchased solar energy systems.  His successor, Ronald Reagan then took office and in 1986, the panels were dismantled and the tax credits, eliminated.  That was the last time 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue truly ran on good energy.

After Carter’s panels were removed from the White House, they found a new home at Unity College in Vermont. Environmental activist Bill McKibben led rallies last month in Washington, calling for Obama to reinstall the panels.

McKibben’s quest was successful. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced TODAY that solar panels will be put back on the roof of the White House by the end of next Spring, demonstrating that renewable-energy technology is practical for U.S. homeowners.  Hooray!  “These two solar installations will be part of a Department of Energy demonstration project. The project will show that American solar technology is available, reliable, and ready to install in homes throughout the country” said Chu.

This a momentous step for those of you who support our country’s transition to a clean-energy economy.

Check out activist Bill McKibben’s recent appearance on David Letterman:


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