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White house

Obama White House says no to solar panels

Tuesday, September 14, 2010 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: white house, solar panels, health news

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(NaturalNews) Efforts to get the Obama administration to install solar panels on the White House roof have failed, according to a recent New York Times piece. Bill McKibben, leader of the environmental activist group 350.org, and his team met with White House officials recently to discuss installing solar panels -- which the Carter administration did back in the 1970s -- but was turned down for several reasons, including that they provide "little energy-saving potential".

In response to economic and energy woes, former President Jimmy Carter decided to put solar panels on the White House roof in 1979 as a symbolic gesture of concern about the importance of clean, renewable energy. But according to reports, those panels were removed when the Reagan administration came into power, and ended up on the roof of Unity College's cafeteria in Maine.

Besides a small array of solar panels the Bush administration installed on a White House maintenance shed, the presidential compound is currently devoid of any renewable solar energy technologies, which has upset some.

"Clearly, a solar panel on the White House roof won't solve climate change -- and we'd rather have strong presidential leadership on energy transformation. But given the political scene, this may be as good as we'll get for the moment," explained McKibben in a Washington Post piece leading up to the event.

Ironically, McKibben and his team drove a single, outdated solar panel in a van from Maine to Washington, D.C., to meet with presidential officials, a stunt that probably used more fossil fuel energy than the cell will ever be able to produce in its lifetime, if it even still works. The group, convinced of man-made climate change, is insistent that the Obama administration do something, though.

The Obama administration reassured both the group and the public that, despite rejecting the panels, it is working hard to promote renewable energy technologies that will "creat[e] new, sustainable jobs".

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