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Jordan Candler / February 11, 2016

Ronald Reagan Building Gets a Solar Makeover

Oh the irony…

Jimmy Carter certainly thought the future was bright when he had 32 solar panels stationed atop the White House in 1979. In fact, in June that year he anticipated that “[i]n the year 2000, the solar water heater behind me … will still be here supplying cheap, efficient energy.” Ronald Reagan eventually purged the panels in 1986, and George W. Bush reincarnated them in 2003, though it wasn’t until Barack Obama reversed Reagan’s reversal in 2010 that they made it back onto the White House roof. So it’s not surprising that the Obama administration would attempt to tar the Reagan legacy by bringing “clean energy” to a building honoring his very name.

According to The Washington Free Beacon, “The General Services Administration signed a contract to install solar panels on more than a dozen federal buildings in Washington, D.C., including the Ronald Reagan building, at an estimated cost of $150,000 per year.” During the Carter era, the alarm was over foreign oil. Under Obama, it’s a man-made global warming catastrophe. And oil, contrary to Carter’s foretelling, is in abundant supply today. Similarly, Americans will look back with amusement at Obama’s justification. There’s nothing wrong with striving to achieve clean, renewable energy. But the Reagan approach was nothing like Obama’s. As Mark Alexander wrote, “One of the regulatory behemoths the Reagan administration reined in was the Environmental Protection Agency. Reagan was not an opponent of sound policies to encourage environmental conservation and preservation. In fact, he was an outdoorsman at heart and declared, ‘Preservation of our environment is not a liberal or conservative challenge, it’s common sense.’ But he was a staunch foe of regulatory abuse as outlined in his Economic Bill of Rights.” And Obama is no Ronald Reagan. In fact, his leadership epitomizes regulatory tyranny — which is why the placing of solar panels on a building bearing Reagan’s name is so utterly unfitting.

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