On Earth Day We Celebrate Solar Power – and Cons Hate It

I can’t keep up with the various hypocrisies and conflicting stances of the American right wing. Watching Cosmos with my son last Sunday, as the show explained the mid-20th century crisis of lead accumulating in the air and water with the burning of leaded gasoline, and the familiar denials of industry to change, he nailed the mind boggling question: “why would these people want to poison their own children? Do they not breathe?”

Why would conservatives who love decentralization and individual initiative want to penalize people who want to generate their own energy on their roof tops? They wouldn’t. But they are easily led by the nose by propagandists like the Koch Brothers and Fox News. (Talking Points Memo is printing letters from people who have had friends and family completely changed by getting sucked into the Right Wing Fox Echo Chamber – might have to print some of those, they’re heartbreaking.)   The LA Times reports the latest right wing political backlash to increasingly affordable solar energy.

The political attack ad that ran recently in Arizona had some familiar hallmarks of the genre, including a greedy villain who hogged sweets for himself and made children cry.

But the bad guy, in this case, wasn’t a fat-cat lobbyist or someone’s political opponent.

He was a solar-energy consumer.

Solar, once almost universally regarded as a virtuous, if perhaps over-hyped, energy alternative, has now grown big enough to have enemies.

 

It’s maddening, but actually a good sign because yes, solar is here, not 20 years away! It’s here, it’s affordable, it will change everything and end the present concept of the electric utility. Tee hee!!

On the right here and now triumphant side of solar, is the story of how former Superfund waste sites are becoming useful again as they are converted into solar farms.

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How beautiful is this? 

The Maywood Solar Farm, which is made up of 36,000 solar panels, started producing power last month. It’s one of 85 renewable energy projects that the EPA has helped install on Superfund sites, landfills and old mining sites in the U.S., projects which together produce 507 megawatts of power. The solar farm is located on the site of a former coal tar refinery plant, which dealt with hazardous chemicals until its closing in 1972. In the 1980s officials found that the groundwater underneath the site was contaminated with benzene and ammonia, and afterwards the area was designated as a Superfund site.

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