Letter to the Editor of the New York Times on NRDC’s “Solar Panels for Every Home”

By Greg Archbald


To the Editor:

Re: “Solar Panels for Every Home” (The Opinion Pages, December 12)

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the authors have called for “an electricity delivery system that is more resilient, clean, democratic and reliable than the one Sandy washed away.” Bravo! That’s an outcome millions of Americans would love to see.

But there’s a catch. Stripped to its essence, the article is little more than a call for installing more solar panels on homes and businesses by streamlining permitting requirements and extending tax credits.

In citing Germany as a model of success in the installation of residential solar power, the authors unaccountably omit the reason for Germany’s success: a precedent-setting system of payments for electricity generated from renewable resources that is being emulated successfully around the globe but not in America. That’s a major omission, and there are more.

In short, this is an article that hints at greatness but sadly fails to push for the big ideas.

Nevada City, California

Archbald is a retired environmental attorney and conservationist. Co-founder, The Trust for Public Land. Founder of precedent-setting citizen natural resource stewardship programs in the Golden Gate National Parks. An attorney who initiated Sierra Club v Morton (405 U.S. 727) that led to the inclusion of the Mineral King area of California in the Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks.