Nuclear Propulsion Neg

Solar CP – Obama Bad = NB

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Solar CP – Obama Bad = NB

Solar costs political capital

Gilster 7 (Paul, Technology Columnist – News & Observer, “Reflections on Space Policy in Washington”, Centauri Dreams, 11-15,

Ponder the solar sail itself as seen through the prism of NASA. Work at Marshall Space Flight Center has progressed to the point that the solar sail is close to or at the status of operational viability. In other words, it wouldn’t take much to launch and deploy an actual sail mission in terms of technology. But without the needed funding, such missions don’t happen, which is why space policy can be so difficult to sort out, and so frustrating. That’s one price you pay for democracy, and while I certainly would never want to live under any other form of government, it does account for the fact that our ventures into space sometimes seem to proceed by fits and stars rather than in a stable continuum.

Solar CP – Obama Good = NB

Congress and Obama back solar propulsion

TechWeb 2008 (“Space Exploration Alliance Wants Congress to Boost NASA Funding, Lex/Nex) JPG

Members also discussed maintaining support for NASA's robotic science missions and the importance of space exploration in addressing Earth's energy and environmental challenges. The group said that several congressional offices asked for more information about the National Security Space Office's recent study of space-based solar power systems. The study found possible sources of solar power in space. SEA steering committee member Chris Carberry said that lobbying has proven effective in encouraging support for space exploration. "We've already seen results with this year's presidential election, where space policy issues have received more attention than they have in decades," he said in a statement. "Now we're hoping to be able to do the same thing with Congress." SEA stresses that NASA's mission of human and robotic space exploration can inspire young people and the public, as well as the aerospace industry, and spur the creation of businesses and jobs. The NASA Reauthorization Act lends adequate funding to allow NASA to grow and solve problems found by the Augustine pane.

Bipartisan support for solar power

Zinshteyn 11 (Mikhail, writer @ American Independent, JPG

An ambitious bill that would offer grants and subsidies to communities that adopt quicker and more efficient methods of installing solar panels was introduced today by Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and John Boozman (R-Ark.). The bipartisan legislation, titled the The 10 Million Solar Roofs Act of 2011 (PDF), would be a boon to a quickly changing solar panel industry. The Solar Energy Industries Association — the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry — stated during a conference call with businesses and in a June 1 congressional hearing that the industry already employs 100,000 people, and they expect that number to double by 2013. As interest in solar paneling has increased and the number of large-scale public projects has also jumped, the cost of manufacturing and production within in the industry has fallen. One prospective project near Blythe, Calif., called the Rice Solar Energy Project, aims to generate 150-megawatts from its solar panel facilities, enough electricity year-round for 68,000 homes, reports SolveClimate News.

Solar CP – Obama Good = NB

Solar is politically popular – its lobby has major clout in Washington

LaRussa 10 (Cassandra, writer @ Energy boom, 3/3/10, JPG

By 2007, the alternative energy industry had begun to drastically increase its lobbying spending, almost doubling its expenditures from the previous year. In 2009, alternative energy organizations shelled out an unprecedented $30 million to protect and promote their interests on Capitol Hill. The alternative energy industry’s lobbying expenditures have grown to 12 times from its 1998 level. In comparison, oil and gas spending and mining spending have grown less than three times their 1998 amount, and electric utility spending has grown to just twice its 1998 amount. The growing involvement of the alternative energy industry in legislative affairs is reflected not just in increased spending, but also in the number of companies and organizations that employ federally registered lobbyists. In the late 1990s, only about 20 alternative energy industry organizations used federal lobbyists. By 2009, there were about 200 alternative energy companies and organizations employing lobbyists to help advance the industry’s interests. The American Wind Energy Association is one of those organizations that recently and significantly increased lobbying efforts. Until 2008, AWEA failed to crack the $1 million mark in annual lobbying expenditures -- and most years, it spent less than $500,000. In 2009, its expenditures experienced a drastic increase, and the group spent almost $5 million on lobbying for issues related to the wind power industry. But why did AWEA, and scores of other alternative energy corporations, trade organizations and non-profits, get involved in legislative affairs so suddenly and with such gusto? The involvement stems from the growth in number of alternative energy companies, which was made possible by the growth in popularity of wind power in the national consciousness, said Christine Real de Azua, an AWEA spokeswoman. Real de Azua states that this, in turn, increased AWEA's ranks by more than 1,000 new business members in 2009 alone, many of them "companies entering or seeking to enter the wind turbine supply chain." Last year "was a record year for wind power in the U.S.," Real de Azua said. "The industry installed 10,000 megawatts last year, enough to generate as much new electricity as three new nuclear plants." The recent involvement of AWEA in federal affairs, she said, "reflects the urgency of the industry's number one priority -- passing a national renewable electricity standard with aggressive, binding near- and long-term targets, as part of comprehensive energy and climate legislation." Azua de Real cites "market certainty" as a concern of AWEA's members, who need legislative support of their industry "in order to expand their operations and invest in new manufacturing as well as new wind farm facilities." She added that it is imperative to the members of AWEA that the U.S. government "steps up and clearly commits to developing renewable energy." AWEA cites the sheer potential of wind energy and the opportunity for job creation as two key points that their lobbyists emphasize in the fight for favorable legislation. Not as drastic but certainly notable is the increased lobbying by the Solar Energy Industries Association. Until 2007, the organization had never spent more than half a million dollars on federal lobbying efforts. In 2009, it spent more than $1.6 million. Monique Hanis, an SEIA spokeswoman, attributes the increase in lobbying presence to a growth in membership that enabled the organization to expand legislative activities. She explains how in late 2008, SEIA's increased lobbying pressure paid off when Congress "passed the eight-year extension of the solar investment tax credit," which allowed the organization to move on to lobbying regarding climate, renewable energy standards, green jobs and appropriations.
Solar is bipartisan – also a win for Obama

LaRussa 10 (Cassandra, writer @ Energy boom, 3/3/10, JPG

Barack Obama labeled such legislation a high priority long before he became president, and people and political action committees associated with the alternative energy industry responded with campaign contributions of $173,500. The oil and gas industry poured more than five times that amount into Obama's campaign coffer, but gave most of its presidential campaign contributions to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) are currently drafting a bill to address the nation's energy needs. The bill, if passed, could certainly become a major political victory for Obama. Although most of the conversation regarding the drafting of legislation has revolved around the question of greenhouse gases and the proposed “cap-and-trade” policy, the bipartisan bill also makes a point of emphasizing job creation and the use of renewable energy. In a statement in February, Kerry promoted his energy bill by stating, "Americans want us to be energy independent. Moreover, every job created in the course of energy independence is a job that stays here at home." And with political focus on alternative energy constantly expanding, the lobbying power of the alternative energy industry may soon become as plentiful as Great Plains breezes and desert sunshine.

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