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Reagan removed solar panels from White House [View All]

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trof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-02-08 07:32 AM
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Reagan removed solar panels from White House
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You can just about always count on a repug to do the wrong thing.
Did I just say "just about"?

White House Solar Panel Goes on Display at Carter Library
1979 Effort to Encourage Alternative Energy Sources Became Road Not Taken

Atlanta, GA. In June, 1979, President Jimmy Carter proposed a new solar strategy to move our
Nation toward true energy security and abundant, readily available energy supplies. In an effort to set an
example for the country, Carter had solar panels installed on the roof of the White House West Wing. The
panels were used to heat water for the staff mess and other areas of the White House.

At the time, President Carter warned a generation from now, this solar heater can either be a curiosity, a
museum piece, an example of a road not taken, or it can be a small part of one of the greatest and most
exciting adventures ever undertaken by the American people; harnessing the power of the Sun to enrich our
lives as we move away from our crippling dependence on foreign oil.

On Friday, March 30th, the White House solar panel will in fact become a museum piece at the Carter
Presidential Library and Museum. The solar panel will be a new addition to the museums section on
President Carters energy policies.
I think people will be surprised to learn how modern Carters statements on energy were when the
panels were put on the White House roof, Carter Library Director Jay Hakes said. It was clearly ahead of
its time.

The White House solar panels were a symbol of the Carter Administrations commitment to reduce
Americas dependence of foreign sources of energy, according to Hakes, who was the Administrator of the
Energy Information Administration at the U.S. Department of Energy during the Clinton presidency. Behind that
was a whole package of tax incentives, research and development and loans that made it much more than a
symbol, Hakes added. There was actually a very substantive attempt to move ahead the expanded use of solar

President Ronald Reagan took the solar panels down in 1986 when the White House roof was being

President Carters goal of getting 20% of the nations energy needs from the Sun by the end of the
Twentieth Century remains unrealized. Today, only 6 % of the countrys energy requirements come from
renewable sources. Thats the same as it was when Carter entered the White House.

I think if you are looking for the one pivotal moment in the history of renewable energy in the United
States, this would probably be it, Hakes said. This new display may help people imagine that if the road
had been taken to use more renewables that the current problems of dependency on unreliable sources of
oil and climate change would probably be much less than they are today.
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