Solar On White House? First Dog Bo Says Make It So!

The Obama administration said in October 2010 that solar panels would be going up on the roof of the White House. But remarkably for an administration that has done so much to promote solar development around the country, it hasn’t happened yet.

Now the home solar company Sungevity is using the occasion of the president’s upcoming second-term inauguration to encourage citizens to push the president to finally get the job done. The company has enlisted First Dog Bo (a look-alike, at least), who (in their imagination) has already gone solar. Check it out:

Sungevity has also set up a Tumblr page as part of its “Rooftop Revolution” campaign where you can sign a petition urging Obama to put solar panels on the White House, matching Bo’s PV setup.

As many people know, there were solar panels installed on the White House roof, used for heating water, during the Carter administration. They were removed during a roofing job in 1986, under President Reagan, and never returned.

The Obama White House had said, back in 2010, that its solar installation would be done by the time summer 2011 rolled around. The failure to get it done led author and activist Bill McKibben to suggest that the president sees climate change as “a second-tier problem,” but the White House was apparently unmoved. Still no solar.

Just before last fall’s election, ABC News checked in with the White House on the status of the solar project. The White House told ABC the panels were “in the procurement phase.”

To which we say: Yeah, right. After all, a year earlier, in October 2011, CNN got a similar reply, with the DOE saying it was it was “still working through the procurement process.”

Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.

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