A quarter-century after President Ronald Reagan dismantled the solar panels placed on the White House roof by his predecessor, Jimmy Carter, the Obama administration has announced that it will install solar energy panels and a solar water heater atop the White House. U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu made the announcement, saying in a statement, “As we move toward a clean-energy economy, the White House will lead by example… This project reflects President Obama’s strong commitment to U.S. leadership in solar energy and the jobs it will create at home.”
His announcement comes a month after activist Bill McKibben led a caravan from Maine to Washington carrying one of the Carter-era solar panels and urging Obama to reinstall it. “The White House did the right thing, and for the right reasons,” McKibben said in a statement. “They listened to the scientists and engineers who told them this is the path to the future.” The new panels, which will be installed this spring, will heat water and provide a small amount of electricity to the White House residence.