Attempt to Assassinate Congresswoman and Solar Energy Champion Gabrielle Giffords Fails
Representative Gabrielle Giffords was shot at close range during a constituent meet and greet on Saturday in Tucson, Arizona. According to the latest reports on CNN, Giffords remains in critical condition. The gunman killed six bystanders, including a federal judge and a girl born on 9/11/2001. Altogether Giffords was among 20 people shot at the event.
In the aftermath of the tragedy, Giffords' tireless public service has been highlighted, particularly her passionate commitment to solar energy. As reported in USA Today, Giffords has argued for legislation to support the solar industry. "She helped create a research and development program exploring storage techniques to concentrate solar power, and helped extend tax credits for commercial and residential solar investments." Indeed, Giffords has made the cause of solar power one of her signature issues. As shown in a video on her official website, Giffords says that since she was elected to Congress, "solar power has been one of my highest policy priorities. This is because solar ... is well suited to help address some of the biggest challenges facing our nation."
Giffords' commitment to solar is not just confined to the halls of Congress. RealEstateRama reported last year that Giffords "walks her talk on solar energy." According to the article, "U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, one of the leading proponents of solar power in Congress, this week had nine solar panels installed on the roof of her Tucson home - a project that is expected to dramatically cut her electric bill."
Giffords' advocacy of solar energy has not gone completely without criticism. Politico remembers her questioning of General Petraeus over the summer, pressing whether utilization of solar power or hydro electric power could be used in Afghanistan. She "asked Gen. David Petraeus to explain whether he had any plans to use solar panels and hydropower to increase fuel efficiency in an otherwise dangerous battle zone."
As the country observed a moment of silence today in honor of the victims of the Tucson tragedy, it may be understandable that the solar community in particular may be praying for Representative Giffords' speedy recovery.