White House Solar Power Is on Its Way

Ruth Manuel | 10/5/2010, 3:19 p.m.

President Barack Obama is a strong proponent of solar power and has encouraged its investment since he first came in to office. Obama has been heralded for being a hero and visionary as far as the greening of America, and in helping us to keep hope alive that one day our country will become energy independent. Now our 44th president has set some wheels in motion to green up the White House even further by reinstalling solar panels.

Former Presidents Jimmy Carter put them on and Ronald Reagan took them off, but Obama has approved a bidding process to have solar panels and a solar hot-water heater installed.

According to White House officials, the President will have the solar panels sit atop the First Family's residence.

The discussion surrounding the reinstallation of the solar panels has been kicked around for quite some time now. The move to put the wheels in motion kept being put off says Bill McKibben, an environmental activist, who made it his business to push for the installation. He tells the AP:

"We keep hearing, 'We'll see' and 'it's complicated,'" McKibben said at the time. "Compared with the other things Obama has to do, it seems relatively easy. You can't filibuster the roof."

Installing anything on the White House roof is easier said than done and can be more of a red tape situation than meets the eye. The roof of the president's residence is a No. 1 homeland security priority that can turn into an intricate web involving anyone from the Secret Service to the White House Historical Association.

The announcement comes on the one-year anniversary of an executive order signed by the president that called on the federal government to lead in the establishment of a clean energy economy.