House Approves Solar Roadmap 310-106

Graphic by Osha Gray Davidson

“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.