Solar energy a boon for Americans that rises above party politics
Politicians on both sides of the aisle should open their eyes to the fastest growing energy source in America, surging ahead against hard economic times. They should understand that solar affords Americans – at homes, workplaces and businesses – the ability to generate heat and power cleanly, safely and affordably. As they ready for debates and town hall meetings, they surely should know that solar now employs 100,000 Americans at more than 5,600 companies – the vast majority of them small businesses – across all 50 states.
Solar: Life, Liberty And The Pursuit of Energy Independence, Forbes, 4 July 12, By General Wesley Clark (ret.) and Rhone Resch No energy source is more American than solar. Technologies to convert sunshine to electricity were pioneered in the U.S. half a century ago at Bell Labs, and quickly became a source of inspiration and imagination. In the last several years, solar energy has awoken from yesterday’s dream to today’s reality.
Last year, the U.S. solar energy market more than doubled in size, creating jobs in every state. You can harness solar energy in every city and county in the country, and even in every Congressional district – although you wouldn’t know that given the way candidates in this year’s elections have misconstrued and abused the facts about solar.
Let’s set the record straight: solar isn’t an issue of the right or
the left, conservative or liberal, Republican or Democrat. In fact,
solar isn’t an issue at all – it’s a set of smart technologies that
today power hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses across this
nation. Solar is a domestic, reliable, renewable, abundant solution
that helps ensure our nation’s energy independence and security.
Solar is American.
Politicians on both sides of the aisle should open their eyes to the fastest growing energy source in America, surging ahead against hard economic times. They should understand that solar affords Americans – at homes, workplaces and businesses – the ability to generate heat and power cleanly, safely and affordably. As they ready for debates and town hall meetings, they surely should know that solar now employs 100,000 Americans at more than 5,600 companies – the vast majority of
them small businesses – across all 50 states.
One of the largest users of solar in the world is our own military.
Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marines and Navy all rely on strong,
reliable solar power. The industry is proud to provide the solar
equipment our armed forces need to power bases, run overseas
operations, and defend our nation. Meanwhile, solar companies are
actively recruiting servicemen and servicewomen returning from
overseas, while still other veterans establish and grow solar
companies in their own hometowns.
Yet, we are in danger of losing our lead in our own homegrown solar
technologies. After being recognized for decades as the worldwide
leader in solar, America has fallen behind Germany, Italy and China.
While we dawdle in misinformed mudslinging as some politicians sow
lies and mistrust over solar, other nations embrace the sun to power
Elected officials need to stop viewing solar through a political prism
and recognize solar’s strengths: an American-born engine of
tremendous growth that’s creating jobs, empowering small businesses,
and helping drive our economy.
On this Independence Day, consider this: enough solar energy hits the
U.S. each hour to power our nation for a year. It doesn’t have to be
imported, or defended in faraway wars. You can use solar power if
you’re a general at Fort Bliss, Texas or a small business in Billings,
Mont. Solar is not the only energy resource America has been blessed
with, nor the only one we should use.
America is a land of plentiful opportunity whose economic growth will
soon return, requiring all of our energy sources. To falsely disparage
an industry merely for gain at the polls is un-American: it puts
politics over people, and pushes our country backwards for political
gain. Instead, recognizing solar energy for what it truly is – an
energy source to power our lives – and putting it to good use across
our nation is patriotic.
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