Ronald Reagan is widely heralded for tearing down the Berlin Wall, but did you also know he tore the solar panels off the White House roof? Hmmm, that’s a part of the Reagan legacy that is seldom discussed.
His often maligned predecessor Jimmy Carter may not go down in history as one of our best Presidents, but Jimmy was way ahead of his time when it came to environmental concerns. In fact, I suspect that in another generation Jimmy Carter may garner much more respect as a visionary when Salt Lake City becomes a coastal city. During his short administration he upped mileage requirements on autos, and until his efforts were derailed by later administrations, we were well on the way to 50 mpg cars as a standard as opposed to a dream. He was also a huge proponent of solar power – enacting government programs that thirty years ago spurred a bit of a solar building boom – until it too was destroyed by the Gipper. But most distressing is the fact that he actually outfitted the White House with solar (even including his inauguration booth), only to have the system ripped out as soon as President Reagan took office.
It is baffling to understand why someone would actually tear out a functioning clean power system. However, rumor is that Reagan replaced the solar panels with an innovative geothermal system; he drilled a hole directly from the White House basement all the way to hell, and that’s where we got Dick Cheney. OK – I made that last part up. Dick Cheney is from Wyoming.