Casting solar as part of the grand Obama socialist scheme might fly with the Tea Party wing of the GOP, and no doubt Gov. Christie has at times been tempted by that rhetoric. But, wily politician that he is, he also seems to see a bigger picture, and the bigger picture is that people like solar. In a Gallup Poll earlier this year, 69 percent of U.S. adults supported “spending government money on developing solar and wind power.” Support was lower among Republicans, but even there a majority, 51 percent, were behind taxpayer money going to expand solar power.
When he signed the solar bill last week, Christie said some things you won’t hear many other Republicans say between now and November. “The solar industry in New Jersey has created thousands of jobs,” he said. It has “generated 800 megawatts of clean energy and helped businesses thrive and grow,” he declared. And he doubled down on that talk this week, vowing that his administration will “continue moving forward with our commitment to develop renewable sources of energy.”
That’s good not only for the solar industry in New Jersey – which, as Climate Progress recently noted, supports some 3,000 jobs and 500 businesses in the state – but it could be good for the rest of the country by giving lie to the idea that solar power in particular is a partisan, political issue. That might be Chris Christie’s greatest contribution.
Pages: 1 2