Color me impressed. Rep. Joe Barton of Texas, the man who apologized to BP after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, went on EnergyNow! TV and voiced support for federal loan guarantees for the solar industry. Barton's support comes after Republicans have had a field day mocking the solar industry and trying to destroy President Obama's green jobs agenda. Barton's support for solar is most welcome and, I must say, highly unlikely. In March of 2011, the EPA proposed the first national standard for emissions of mercury, sulfur dioxide and other pollutants from coal-fired power plants, the country's Number 1 contributor to climate change. But Barton took issue with the EPA's move, and argued that "to cause poisoning or a premature death, you have to get a large concentration of mercury into the body... I am not a medical doctor, but my hypothesis is that is not going to happen. You are not going to get enough mercury exposure or SO2 exposure or even particulate matter exposure."
Barton had also pushed for the repeal of the ban on inefficient light bulbs; said that there are more glaciers growing than shrinking, and was named by Rolling Stone as one of the 17 worst "Climate Killer."
Maybe Barton has finally seen the light on solar? Whatever is his past record, it's great to hear him stepping up now at this crucial time for the solar industry. Go Joe?