Last week, Bill McKibbon and the people over at 350.org went on a road trip from Unity College in Maine down to the White House in DC, with the goal of bringing one of the Carter solar panels to the Obama Administration for them to put up on the White House.  Sadly, the White House turned down their offer.

During Jimmy Carter’s presidency, he put up solar panels on the roof of the White House — making the White House a symbol of what could be the new clean energy future of the United States.  When Ronald Reagan took over the presidency in 1980, those solar panels came down. Unity College managed to secure both of them and have been using them on their university buildings.  When 350.org’s campaign to Put Solar on the White House started gaining momentum, Unity College offered to give one of the panels to the current White House, saving them the work of finding a new solar panel, and bringing some history back to the White House.

Even with the gift of a solar panel, and hundreds of thousands of supporters, the White declined to put the panel up on the White House, saying that they would continue to deliberate on the idea of putting up solar panels. As one member of 350.org put it “We tossed them a big, fat soft ball to hit out of the park and they just watched it float on by.”

This truly was a missed opportunity for the Obama Administration.  After Obama’s thrilling run and promises of hope and change, his administration has come to be stuck in the mud.  Grassroots organizers who thought that things would get easier with a progressive in office have been disappointed by the administration immobility.  This would have been a chance for the White House to be a leader in the clean energy movement, and to be representative of what hundreds of thousands of young people in the country want: a better, sustainable future.

Make sure your voice continues to be heard by following 350.org’s new campaign 10/10/10 and join a work party to do something for the environment that day.  Just because the White House said no now, doesn’t mean they always will.

Advertisements