“Clearly,” said CJ Karamargin, “we have an issue here that cuts across some of the divisions in Congress.”
Just as clearly, Karamargin, press secretary to Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), was understating events. By a vote of 310 to 106 — nearly a 3:1 margin — the House of Representatives today passed the Solar Technology Roadmap Act, introduced by Rep. Giffords. The bill authorizes $2.25 billion to help fund solar power research, development and demonstration projects. It also directs the Secretary of Energy to create an eleven-person committee to advise where those funds would be best spent.
The sixty-three Republicans who voted for the bill (including a handful of co-sponsors!) show that solar power is truly a bipartisan issue.
Not bipartisan in the sense of “Olympia Snowe voted with us,” but a real, honest-to-goodness consensus that the US should be, can be and will be a leader in the development and manufacturing of renewable energy resources.
Whether or not the Roadmap’s Mojo (note the lower case “j”) will carry over when a companion bill is introduced in the Senate remains to be seen.
For now, proponents of solar power are just enjoying the victory — on both sides of the aisle. Strange days, indeed. But good.
Osha Gray Davidson is a contributing blogger at Mother Jones and publisher of The Phoenix Sun, an online news service reporting on solar energy. He tweets @thephoenixsun.