After a coalition of sun lovers petitioned for a solar array to be installed on the White House the President announced last fall that we’d see a sunny energy generator installed on the his abode by this spring. Well, today is the 21st of June, the summer solstice and officially the end of spring and we’ve yet to see those solar panels rise…What gives?
When Steven Chu announced that the solar panels were going up this year it seemed the administration hadn’t fully looked into the difficulty that permitting to build a solar array on the White House would present, and now they are pointing fingers at the approval process. “The Energy Department remains on the path to complete the White House solar demonstration project,” Ramamoorthy Ramesh, director of the agency’s SunShot Initiative and Solar Energy Technologies Program, announced in a statement yesterday. The SunShot program is the administration’s initiative to install 10 million solar roofs and the White House was to be one of the shining examples of their progress.
It looks like that progress has halted and though the administration is not scrapping the plan, they won’t give a date for when it will be finished either. In Ramesh’s statement he said the administration “look[s] forward to sharing more information — including additional details on the timing of this project — after the competitive procurement process is completed.” 350.org founder Bill McKibben, and other solar activists are not amused by the delay, “this was a no-brainer,” he said in a statement Monday. “Republicans couldn’t filibuster it, the oil companies weren’t fighting it, and it still didn’t get done when they said it would.” McKibben’s statement continued, “Barack Obama told his supporters after the election that he needed constant pressure — from now on we’ll do our best to provide it, and on issues even more significant than this.”