- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 20, 2010

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

We applaud President Obama for taking concrete steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase energy efficiency at the White House (“Solar panels to go atop White House,” Politics, Oct. 6). The president’s decision to go solar also serves as a renewed call to Congress and the administration to restore local-government Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs, which effectively were killed in the spring by the regulatory overreach of the Federal Housing Finance Agency at the request of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

PACE has been one of the most innovative tools in the nation for empowering homeowners to reduce their utility bills and save money as they help the environment. PACE-enabling programs in the District and 22 states are also good for the local economy in generating critical construction-industry jobs that cannot be exported to other nations.

Local governments are looking to Washington to provide a workable solution for restoring clean-energy PACE programs, and their thinking is that if the president can install solar panels atop his house, homeowners in other cities should be encouraged to do the same.

MARTIN CHAVEZ

Executive director

International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives USA

Washington

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