U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords a solar pioneer
She championed its development in Arizona and beyondBy Bart Taylor
In October 2009 I had an opportunity to hear a young and articulate House member from Arizona address a gathering of independent power and energy executives in Washington, D.C., hosted by Patton Boggs, a prominent D.C.-based firm.
Gabrielle Giffords, who remains in critical condition after Saturday’s mass shooting in Tucson, spoke passionately that day in support of America’s solar energy industry, arguing that developing a dynamic economic sector based on renewable energy -- including the formidable solar assets in her home state -- was a national security issue, a point of view that in part reflects her deep connection to the military.
Giffords serves on the House Armed Services Committee and represents thousands of military families in her Arizona congressional district. By any measure, Giffords stole the show that day. We wish her a speedy recovery.
Robert Hoskins, executive director of the Arizona Solar Power Society, sheds more light on Giffords’ contributions to Arizona’s solar industry:
Q: The tragic events of this past weekend strike close to home in renewable energy circles -- Gabrielle Giffords is a known as advocate of solar power development. Can you speak to her efforts in Arizona?
Rep. Gabby Giffords is a true pioneer in the solar industry. As the Arizona Solar Power Society began to formulate our solar community outreach strategy for the Phoenix metroplex, we had the opportunity to attend one of Rep. Gifford's Solar Power 101 seminars in February 2009.
We were very impressed with her passion for solar and made an effort to replicate her community outreach programs in Northern Arizona. It would be nice to see more Arizona legislators and U.S. congressional representatives embrace renewable energy with the same passion and leadership as Rep. Giffords in order to create badly needed Arizona jobs.
At the congressional level, Rep. Giffords authored the Solar Technology Roadmap Act, which provided the Department of Energy with a well-thought-out plan to harness solar energy in order to produce free clean electricity for all Americans.The bill dedicated more than $2 billion for solar energy research. It was passed by the House of Representatives in October 2009, but was held up by the Senate, which has not allowed the bill to move toward final approval.
It would be nice to see President Obama and senior Democrats honor Rep. Giffords’ dedication to developing clean sources of renewable energy by working with senior Democratic legislators to pass this important legislation and other bills like it to create more American jobs.
About Bart Taylor
Bart Taylor is the publisher of Planet-Profit Report.