White House sails past deadline for solar panel installation

By Kase Wickman
Tuesday, June 21, 2011 13:59 EDT
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Tuesday marked the first official day of summer in the Western hemisphere, but some environmental advocates saw June 21 as another milestone — a day after the deadline President Barack Obama’s administration had promised for the installation of a solar water-heating system on the roof of the White House.

In October, Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced that the green machine would grace the roof of the White House “by the end of spring.”

The DOE published a statement on its blog that didn’t offer an explanation for the delay, but instead largely focused on other DOE efforts and solar energy improvements.

“The Energy Department remains on the path to complete the White House solar demonstration project, in keeping with our commitment, and we look forward to sharing more information — including additional details on the timing of this project — after the competitive procurement process is completed,” the statement reads in part.

Contacted for clarification about why the water heating system was not installed before the deadline and asked for a specific reason, a DOE official emailed a link to the statement, and highlighted the above excerpt, calling it an “ongoing process.”

Pressed again for a specific reason, the same official again sent the excerpt, and wrote, “the process is ongoing.”

Kase Wickman
Kase Wickman
Kase Wickman is a reporter for Raw Story. She holds a journalism degree from Boston University and grew up in Eugene, OR. Her work has been featured in The Boston Globe, Village Voice Media, The Christian Science Monitor, The Houston Chronicle and on NPR, among others. She lives in New York City and tweets from @kasewickman.
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