Where are the White House’s Solar Panels?

Photo by TopTechWriter.US, <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/toptechwriter/44210696/sizes/m/in/photostream/">via Flickr</a>.


Last fall, after a persistent campaign by enviros, the Obama administration agreed to install solar panels on the roof of the White House. In response to the request from 350.org, Energy Secretary Steven Chu promised that solar panels and a solar hot water heater would grace the roof of the First Family’s residence “by the end of this spring.” But today’s the first day of summer, and there’s still no solar.

350 wonders what exactly the hold-up is. “This was a no-brainer—the Republicans couldn’t filibuster it, the oil companies weren’t fighting it, and it still didn’t get done when they said it would,” said 350 founder Bill McKibben in a statement.

The administration responded Monday night, promising that the solar panels are still coming. Ramamoorthy Ramesh, director of solar energy technologies at the Department of Energy, wrote in a long blog post:

The Energy Department remains on the path to complete the White House solar demonstration project, in keeping with our commitment, and we look forward to sharing more information—including additional details on the timing of this project—after the competitive procurement process is completed.

In short: the fate of the White House’s solar panels is still cloudy.

Fact:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn’t fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation so we can keep on doing the type of journalism that 2018 demands.

Donate Now
  • Kate Sheppard was a staff reporter in Mother Jones' Washington bureau from 2009 to 2013. She is now a senior reporter and the energy and environment editor at The Huffington Post. She can be reached by email at kate (dot) sheppard (at) huffingtonpost (dot) com and you can follow her on Twitter @kate_sheppard.