Last October, the Obama administration announced that it plans to install solar panels on the roof of the White House. This would be the 30 years after the solar panels installed during Jimmy Carter’s rule were taken down. The target date for the installation is in spring.
It’s already summer and yet the solar panels are still not seen on the roof of the White House. The Obama administration blames the contracting process and confirms that the solar panel project is still active. But there’s no definite timeline when it would be completed.
Environmental groups are disappointed with the progress of the project. They say that the strong sunlight of summer will now go to waste instead of being used to generate energy by the White House.
The administration’s failure to meet the deadline reflects on how it treats its policies on green energy. It’s all talk and no practical accomplishments to show.
During last fall’s announcement during a conference attended by environmental groups and government officials, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said that by the end of spring there will be a solar hot water heater and solar panels on top of the White House.
Nancy Sutley, chair of the Council on Environmental Quality added that the installation of the solar power system on the roof of the White House was President Obama’s way to show his commitment to renewable energy in the country.
Environmentalists praised the announcement then but they are now disappointment when the White House failed to keep its promise. Solar power advocates say that rooftop solar panels are not that expensive at this time. These arrays will pay for themselves over time.
Administration officials state that the White House is different from any other structure in the United States. The delay is due to red tape and heritage rules. The Energy Department says that the project is still ongoing.
White House officials claim that climate issues and energy conservation are the administration’s top priorities. They listed its accomplishments such as the gas-mileage standards, presidential visits to alternative energy power plants, and green tech incentives. But environmental groups point at Obama’s plan to increase offshore oil drilling and the failure to pass the climate change legislation.
The first ever solar panels installed in the White House was made by then President Carter in June 1979. It consisted of 32 panels and cost $30,000. It was used to provide hot water to the West Wing offices. When Ronald Reagan was in office, he had the panels removed and shipped them to the Unity College in Maine where some of them are still used.