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White House Finally Gets Solar Panels Again

President Jimmy Carter and his solar panels, back in the day

It took three years to make it happen, but the Obama administration is finally making good on its promise to install solar panels at the White House. From The Hill:

“The White House has begun installing American-made solar panels on the first family’s residence as a part of an energy retrofit that will improve the overall energy efficiency of the building,” a White House official said.

The installation drew cheers from an environmental group that in 2010 called for panels to return to the White House after the Reagan administration removed a Carter-era solar panel installation.

“Better late than never — in truth, no one should ever have taken down the panels Jimmy Carter put on the roof way back in 1979,” said Bill McKibben, founder of

President Carter put solar panels on the White House back in the 70’s but President Reagan took them down when he took office.

Putting solar panels on the White House is seen as a symbolic commitment to green technology and efforts to address climate change. The fact that it took so many years to implement such a simple gesture on climate change, though, perhaps carries an even greater symbolic significance.

That said, this still a small but positive development. The administration did finally do the right thing.

Photo via the White House Museum, public domain

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Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at