Saturday, June 02, 2007

Giffords picks group to make Tucson 'Solar City'

Technicians for Sustainability is a leading solar company, but not on Rep. Giffords' select solar group.

TUCSON -- Much as Detroit is considered the Motor City, US Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) wisely wants Tucson to be the Solar City.

It is a great idea that is long overdue. I salute her for taking it on by forming a group of 25 to explore how to make Tucson and southeast AZ in to a mecca for solar power and technology.

Giffords has put together an interesting group. A few of the members have a known commitment to clean energy, but several others appear to be political picks, similar to the recent regional 'town hall'.

Government, military, university and big corporations are there, but no conservation or neighborhood groups are represented on her panel. I wonder how many on the group actually have solar power on their own homes, like me and my family?

To maximize chances of legitimate public-interest progress, Giffords should appoint AZ Rep. Steve Farley as chair of the solar group.

A sustainable solar future is one with millions of solar rooftops making local power, not big corporate-owed solar arrays covering huge parts of the desert and relying on the vulnerable and inefficient grid.

One of the biggest obstacles to expanding solar power use is lack of requirements for utilities to pay a fair rate for any extra power people may produce.

Although Giffords group could use more true community and solar voices, I hope they produce some real results to make solar power affordable and available to average people.

Even though the group isn't as broad or representative as it should be, overall it this is a positive move for clean energy by Rep. Giffords.

1 comment:

x4mr said...

Daniel,

You are far more kind than my sentiments, and I will also hold my tongue to some extent.

The list is almost pure political.

Of the 25, perhaps 10 know something about solar energy. Leslie Tolbert is a good choice.

One of the guys on the list, whom I will not name, is a complete effing idiot who has never heard of solar energy and probably couldn't spell it. He is clearly on the list because of his employer.

She's the politician. If this is the list that will produce results, so be it, but my reaction is easily as strong as yours, if not stronger.