Energy Secretary Steven Chu (who, don’t forget, has a Nobel Prize, like the President) and one of the President’s 2,578 czars, White House Council on Environmental Quality chairman Nancy Sutley, issued the grand decree yesterday that the White House has changed its mind and will go solar. Not totally, but enough to release the First Family’s water-heating serfs from their daily labors.
Yet an AP story notes that once again, Obama is just following in his predecessors footsteps:
Former Presidents Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush both tapped the sun during their days in the White House. Carter in the late 1970s spent $30,000 on a solar water-heating system for West Wing offices. Bush’s solar systems powered a maintenance building and some of the mansion, and heated water for the pool.
This leads to the questions:
- Where are W’s solar systems now? Did Obama have them removed? The AP speaks in the past tense (“powered” and “heated”), as if they don’t exist anymore.
- Why does Obama keep doing the exact same things that Bush did?
Amid the reporting of this great environmental feat, one fact has gotten conveniently glossed over: A couple weeks ago, a merry little band of global warming activists, lead by radical left 350.org founder Bill McKibben, pulled up in front of the White House expecting Obama to join them in a round of Kumbaya on the rooftop, but instead his people told them that he would not install solar panels on the White House, especially not the crusty old one from the Carter administration that McKibben and a few female students had toted down from Maine with them on their protest drive.
McKibben didn’t take kindly to the dis and set about making as much noise in the media as he could. In a lengthy op-ed that he sent out to the blogosphere, he was determined to portray his little group as virtuous and wide-eyed as possible:
And so, on the day after Labor Day, we set off in a biodiesel college van. Solar road trip! Guitars, iPods, excellent snack food, and for company, the rock star of solar panels, all 6 x 3-feet and 140 pounds of her….It couldn’t have been more fun. Wherever we could, we’d fire up the panel, pour a gallon of water in the top, point it toward the sun, and eight or nine minutes later you’d have steaming hot water coming out the bottom.
And to make the White House look as dark and dunce-like as possible:
…eventually someone from the Office of Public Engagement emerged to escort us inside the Executive Office Building. He seated us in what he called “the War Room,” an ornate and massive chamber with a polished table in the middle.
Every window blind was closed. It was a mahogany cave in which we could just make out two environmental bureaucrats sitting at the far end of the table. I won’t mention their names, on the theory that what followed wasn’t really their idea, but orders they were following from someone else. Because what followed was uncool….
When the administrators proudly proffered a clipping from some interior page of the Washington Post about their “greening the government initiative,” Amanda calmly pointed out that none of her neighbors read the Post and that, by contrast, the solar panels had made it onto David Letterman.