Thank you, EPA: U.S. solar companies

December 8, 2009

tomwernerMany businesses chafed on Monday at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s declaration that greenhouse gas emissions endanger human health.

But executives at the two largest U.S. solar power companies took a shine to the statement, which clears the way for federal regulation and came as a global climate summit opened in Copenhagen.  Now they’ll keep their eyes on Congress to act on future legislation.

First Solar’s chairman and former chief executive Mike Ahearn called the EPA’s move “an affirmation of the administration’s commitment to addressing climate change.”

“We look forward to a comprehensive legislative proposal next year that will provide a policy structure that combines putting a price on carbon emissions with rapid deployment of sustainable, non-emitting energy sources,” Ahearn said in an email.

SunPower‘s chief executive Tom Werner also applauded the move — with a nudge towards Congress.

“Today’s EPA announcement encourages Congress and governments worldwide to develop a schedule for addressing climate change by significantly lowering carbon emissions. SunPower is looking forward to helping ensure that, in the U.S., federal carbon legislation reduces carbon emissions by increasing the use of clean, renewable solar power,” Werner said in a statement.

(Photos: Chief Executive Officer of SunPower Corp Tom Werner speaks during the Reuters Global Energy Summit in New York. Photo credit: Brendan McDermid / Reuters)


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While the EPA takes unprecedented action to give the impression more robust action will be taken by agency regarding climate change, few of us should be fooled.
The Times reported that levels of arsenic and other carcinogenic chemicals are present in U.S. public drinking water that serves millions of Americans. It has been estimated by the CDC millions of Americans get sick every year from water contamination. The EPA has pursued enforcement in less than 8% of the founded cases. One EPA investigator who asked to remain anonymous, stated that supervisors and higher-ups are only interested in environmental violations that incur substantial fines. As Municipalities provide the tainted drinking water, the order of the day is compliance and not large fines. It appears as if some in charge at the EPA see their role as revenue collectors for the government.

It has been argued by health experts and scientists for over three decades that contaminated drinking water is causing our cancer rates to climb. The cost has to be staggering both financially and in terms of human suffering. 100 years ago Teddy Roosevelt campaigned and won the Presidency by promising to establish clean water laws. He made good on his promise. We are now right back where we started because of past and previous President’s unwillingness to enforce the the Clean Water Acts. Should we expect any better enforcement when subsequent fossil fuel restrictions are passed into law?

Posted by eddieblack | Report as abusive

Correction,typo:”We are right now back where we started because of the present and past President’s unwillingness to enforce the Clean Water Acts.”

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