I’ve placed “Clean #1” to illustrate my current entry because “The Waterworks” is about keeping our environment healthy, and so much in our current public dialogue seems to be about back tracking from responsible care of the Earth and our environment.
While working out at the gym day before yesterday, I was "privileged" to watch FOX news latest diatribe against clean energy. Today I’ve checked everywhere in the attempt to see if FOX news claim that one solar company alone plans to layoff 2000 workers is inaccurate reporting of the news. Instead, I've discovered that the problem is much worse than FOX news coverage suggests. The solar industry in general is having to layoff workers. However, the layoffs are due to individual state and Public Utility Commission cuts in subsidies for companies that offer cash back incentives to domestic customers for installing solar. To site but one instance among many, in Colorado, Xcel is under attack by the Public Utilities Commission.
“Xcel has suspended its Solar Rewards program pending a decision by the state Public Utilities Commission on its request to cut subsidies by 47 percent.” * 1
In still other cases, the culprit is the “OUT SOURCING” bugaboo.
Evergreen (Nasdaq:ESLRD) had announced it would outsource its solar panel assembly to China by the end of this year. * 2
I argue that instead of giving 50 billion in subsidies to the rich and all too profitable petroleum industry that must outsource so much of its employment because of location of resources, we should be giving these subsidies to clean energy with the stipulation that jobs be kept in the United States.
Responsible Reporting of the News
Instead of criticizing President Obama for his clean energy program FOX should be reporting the slashing of incentives by Republican governors, state legislatures and Public Utilities Commissions. Thus, the real culprit here is budget slashing, not the solar industry, nor President Obama. The public has to be made to realize that budget slashing is a two edged sword that can and will damage our fragile economy. And, at the very least honest news reporting should present all aspects of this story.
* Read more: Industry says Xcel's request could put 3,000 out of work - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/business/ci_17467346#ixzz1FAcm4Llq
* 2 Alspach, Kyle, Evergreen Solar layoffs surprise Devens, Marlborough employees. Massachusetts High Tech, http://www.masshightech.com/ , Viewed 10:00 AM, EST, February 27, 2011.