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    Repiglican Roast

    A spirited discussion of public policy and current issues

    Name:
    Location: The mouth of being

    I'm furious about my squandered nation.

    Friday, May 09, 2008

    Great Article About How Right Wing Hero (and subject of homoerotic worship by repiglikkkan males) Reagan killed Transition to Solar Energy

    [...]
    "They're going to kill your study," the gray-suited informant warned Hayes, before slipping down the corridor.

    The study, a yearlong investigation by some of the nation's leading scientists, provided a convincing blueprint for a solar future. It showed that alternative energy could easily meet 28 percent of the nation's power needs by 2000. The only thing that solar and wind and other nonpolluting energy sources needed was a push, the study concluded -- the same research funding and tax credits provided to other energy industries, and a government committed to lead the way to reduced reliance on fossil fuels. But the messenger in the corridor signaled that the solar future would only be won with a little guerrilla warfare. Hayes phoned a colleague at his office in Golden, Colorado, and told him to make 100 copies of the study and circulate them around the country. Energy Secretary Jim Edwards killed the study, all right, but not before it had been published in the Congressional Record.

    It was a bold gesture, but not enough to alter the outcome. The quashed study proved to be the beginning of the end. The budget for the solar institute -- which President Jimmy Carter had created to spearhead solar innovation -- was slashed from $124 million in 1980 to $59 million in 1982. Scientists who had left tenured university jobs to work under Hayes were given two weeks notice and no severance pay. The squelching of the institute -- later partly re-funded and renamed the National Renewable Energy Laboratory -- marked the start of Reagan's campaign against solar power. By the end of 1985, when Congress and the administration allowed tax credits for solar homes to lapse, the dream of a solar era had faded. The solar water heater President Carter had installed on the White House roof in 1979 was dismantled and junked. Solar water heating went from a billion-dollar industry to peanuts overnight; thousands of sun-minded businesses went bankrupt. "It died. It's dead," says Peter Barnes, whose San Francisco solar- installation business had 35 employees at its peak. "First the money dried up, then the spirit dried up," says Jim Benson, another solar activist of the day.

    [...]

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