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Article posted on 09/09/10
Author: Patrick Morris

Jimmy Carter's Solar Panel to Return to White House

A group from Unity College in Unity, Maine is planning a trip this week to give President Obama a solar panel that was once installed on the White House. The group is set to travel to Washington, DC on September 7th and will deliver a solar panel that was installed on the White House when Jimmy Carter was in office, but was removed in 1986 and has sat in storage ever since. A spokesman for the group, Bill McKibben, appeared on the "Late Show with David Letterman" Thursday night and commented: "We're taking them back to the White House...It's time to put these back up." McKibben said that the Obamas have shown interest in green living, citing Michelle Obama's organic vegetable garden.

The Unity College group definitely has company in pushing for a greener White House. A coalition of solar technology companies has offered the President an array of solar rooftop panels valued at more than $100,000 that they say will reduce the First Residence's electric bills by 80 percent. The coalition is seeking signatures on a petition in a campaign they're calling "Globama" to convince the White House to install the panels.

In 1979, President Jimmy Carter commissioned the installation of 32 solar panels on the roof of the landmark at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., but they were taken down during Ronald Reagan's Administration, who also let Carter's solar tax credits expire in 1985. Early in the 90s, Unity College, recently named one of the nation's "greenest" institutions, relocated the panels to its campus. Sixteen were used to provide hot water to the campus cafeteria for about a decade.

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