8 january 2011

Solar Energy Champion Rep. Gabrielle Giffords Shot in Tuscon, Arizona

by Daniel Kessler, in Treehugger on 01. 8.11

Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, and 17 others, was shot today at a public event in her district. The horrible crime is being condemned all over the country by civic leaders, and it is a grim reminder of the violence that can be unleashed by hateful, irresponsible rhetoric. Rep. Giffords is one of the biggest champions of solar energy in Congress and has worked during her time there for national energy reform that will dramatically scale up our use of renewable energy.

News reports say Giffords has had surgery and is recovering in an Arizona hospital. Details remain difficult to get.

Giffords sponsors her Solar Power 101 events, in which she travels Arizona to educate the public about the power solar energy can provide. In January of 2010, Giffords installed solar panels on her home and issued this press release, which reads:

"Harnessing solar energy and putting it to work is a no-brainer for sunny Arizona. The sun is our state's most abundant energy resource. I am proud that I am able to take this personal step to increase my energy independence...
"I am passionate about getting our nation off foreign energy sources. We know that sending more than $400 billion a year overseas to buy foreign energy weakens our economy, strengthens our enemies and undermines our national security."

Rep. Giffords voted in favor of the 2009 Waxman-Markey climate bill, which set up a cap and trade system designed to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. She also voted for the $700 billion bank bailout, citing, among other things, the funding in the package for solar energy.

Read about Giffords' solar advocacy on her website. Hopefully, Giffords will recover and be able to continue her strong support for solar energy.

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