Congresswoman Gabrielle “Gabby” Giffords likes to call solar power “the bridge to our future.” Since taking office in January, 2006, Gabby has been both a chief engineer and a tireless construction worker on that solar bridge.
Solar is very serious. Between solar hot water, concentrating solar power, and photovoltaics, solar technologies have the potential to make a dramatic contribution to our energy challenges right now. But as they say in politics, perception is reality. That, in my view, is the number one challenge facing the solar industry in the United States.
Gabrielle Giffords, address to the Solar Economic Forum, 10 September 2009
A former Fulbright scholar with a Master’s degree in Regional Planning from Cornell University, Gabby brings a keen intellect and a solid understanding of our physical infrastructure to the debate on the nation’s energy future. She has often said that her commitment to developing renewable energy sources — solar in particular — is based on three inseparable issues: Economic prosperity (in the form green-tech jobs), national security (energy independence), and environmental protection — especially fighting climate change.
“My mission as an elected official,” Gabby once said, “is to help move solar policy forward.”
Not that solar power has been her only mission. Gabby has taken strong stands on many other important issues, including support for veterans and active service men and women, immigration and fiscal responsibility. But it’s in working for solar energy that she truly shines.
Terrain (“A Journal of the Built & Natural Environments”) has called Gabby “the U.S.’s strongest elected representative for renewable energy.”
Given her priorities — and the fact that we share them — The Phoenix Sun will focus on providing information about “solar power and environmental news from the American Southwest” — just like it says on our masthead. We have a deep affection for and appreciation of Congresswoman Giffords, but there are many sources for news about the tragedy in Tucson and, specifically, about Gabby’s condition.
We believe that continuing to work for a renewable energy future is the best way to honor Gabby, especially if you believe, as she does, and as we do, that “the time for solar is now.”