The White House Has Solar Panels … Again

They were first installed in 1979.

Nice view.
National Journal
Emma Roller
May 9, 2014, 8:34 a.m.

Pres­id­ent Obama is work­ing to make good on his prom­ise for an “all of the above” en­ergy strategy — and close to home. On Fri­day, while Obama was pro­mot­ing re­new­able en­ergy plans in Cali­for­nia, the White House un­veiled an ar­ray of sol­ar pan­els in­stalled on its roof.

Watch:

{{ BIZOBJ (video: 4944) }}

The in­stall­a­tion of the sol­ar pan­els is the cul­min­a­tion of a four-year-long ef­fort by al­tern­at­ive-en­ergy ad­voc­ates to bring the pan­els back to the White House. Yes, back. In 1979, then-Pres­id­ent Jimmy Carter had sol­ar pan­els in­stalled, to much con­ser­vat­ive eye-rolling. In 1986, Ron­ald Re­agan had the pan­els taken down, but they found a new home at Unity Col­lege in Maine. In 2010, the anti-cli­mate-change group 350.org brought back one of the Carter ad­min­is­tra­tion sol­ar pan­els to the White House as part of an ef­fort to re-in­stall the pan­els.

White House of­fi­cials couldn’t in­stall the pan­els across the en­tire roof be­cause of “se­cur­ity con­cerns” — in oth­er words, they’d im­pede the Secret Ser­vice snipers who hang out on the White House roof.

Some people don’t like how the pan­els look.

And while the en­ergy pro­duced by the White House pan­els may not be all too sig­ni­fic­ant — they’ll gen­er­ate an es­tim­ated 6.3 kilo­watts worth of en­ergy — the mes­sage it sends is. As 350’s lead­er noted at the time, first lady Michelle Obama’s ve­get­able garden in­spired many people to start their own back­yard plots.

A White House staffer in the video notes that sol­ar en­ergy has cre­ated 23,000 jobs in the U.S. over the past year, and that every four minutes a new busi­ness or homeown­er “goes sol­ar.” If sol­ar pan­els can be in­stalled on the most pres­ti­gi­ous house in Amer­ica, maybe oth­er Amer­ic­ans will stop think­ing of them as an eye­sore.

What We're Following See More »
WITHER TRUMP?
Jon Stewart May Debut on HBO Before the Election
19 minutes ago
THE DETAILS

"Jon Stewart could arrive on HBO in time for the November presidential election. In a Paley Media Council interview Thursday with CNN’s Brian Stelter, HBO CEO Richard Plepler was asked whether viewers could expect to see Stewart, former host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” on HBO before the general election. 'Yeah, I’m hopeful,' Plepler said."

Source:
ALL RIDERS TO BE AFFECTED
Metro to Begin Rolling Closures Next Month
3 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Beginning next month, Metro will begin a series of "about 15 separate large-scale work projects," each of which will close down stations and/or sections of track for up to weeks at a time. The entire initiative is expected to take about a year. The Washington Post has a list of the schedule of closures, and which lines and stations they'll affect.

Source:
ANOTHER MEETING WITH PRIEBUS
Trump to Meet with Ryan, Leadership Next Week
3 hours ago
THE LATEST

A day after saying he could not yet support Donald Trump's presidential bid, House Speaker Paul Ryan has invited the billionaire to a meeting in Washington next week with House leadership. Ryan and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus will also meet separately with Trump. 

Source:
‘EXACTING STANDARDS’
Obama on Trump: ‘This Is a Really Serious Job’
4 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"President Obama used the White House podium on Friday to dismiss Donald Trump as an unserious candidate to succeed him, and said leading the country isn't a job that's suited to reality show antics." At a briefing with reporters, the president said, "I just want to emphasize the degree to which we are in serious times and this is a really serious job. This is not entertainment. This is not a reality show. This is a contest for the presidency of the United States. And what that means is that every candidate, every nominee needs to be subject to exacting standards and genuine scrutiny."

Source:
MORE EXECUTIVE ORDERS
Panama Papers Spur White House to Crack Down on Evasion
6 hours ago
THE DETAILS

In the The White House on Thursday night unveiled a series of executive actions to combat money laundering—"among the most comprehensive response yet to the Panama Papers revelations." The president's orders will tighten transparency rules, close loopholes that allow "foreigners to hide financial activity behind anonymous entities in the U.S., and demand stricter “customer due diligence” rules for banks.

Source:
×