Joined by four U.S. senators, a coalition of solar power advocates issued a "blueprint" yesterday for solar energy development, calling on President Carter to adopt programs that would enable the country to obtain a fourth of its energy from the sun by the year 2000.
The announcement, coming shortly before Carter resolves a debate within his Cabinet over how much should be spent on solar energy, was timed to persuade the president to select an ambitious goal.
"Lots of narrow-minded bureaucrats are urging the president to duck the issue," said Denis Hayes, assailing opposition to sharply increased spending on solar energy voiced by Treasury Secretary W. Michael Blumenthal and the Office of Management and Budget
Hayes, chairman of the Solar Lobby and originator of "Sun Day," is one of seven authors of "Blueprint for a Solar America."
The blueprint calls for: creation of a solar energy development bank to provide low-interest loans for solar installations; a wide range of tax credits and subsidies to make solar competitive with other energy sources and creation of a solar policy council headed by the vice president.
It was drafted jointly by the Solar Lobby, Common Cause, Conservation Foundation, Environmental Action, Environmental Policy Center, Natural Resources Defense Council and Sierra Club.
Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM) endorsed the 25 percent goal for the end of the century along with Sens Gary Hart (D-Colo), Paul Tsongas (D-Mass.), and Charles Percy (R-Ill).
"I consider this a challenge to the administration; to read speeches is just not enough," Domenici told reporters at a morning press conference.
Hart, in addition to prodding the administration to adopt an ambitious goal for solar energy, labeled many of the Energy Department's solar energy programs "a classic example of where all the right things are said, and things just haven't been done."
Hart said that only one Energy Department employe is responsible for implementing a $100 million program to place solar systems on federal buildings.