I just watched a BBC America show about the reticent Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, and over the last couple of days on NPR radio, the Stardate segments have been devoted to the anniversary of the Apollo 12 mission when Pete Conrad (the third man to make that walk) and Alan Bean made a pinpoint landing of the lunar module to test “precise landing techniques” that would be used in future missions.
We can’t do solar panels here?
Early last week I posted this comment by Zachary Karabell, who appeared on CNBC (See: Larry Kudlow Has a Fit as Obama the “Declinist” Opens His Mouth in Japan; Says Obama is “Not His President”):
And he said that if we want China to continue to “hitch” themselves to us more, we’re not supposed to freak out if China wants to buy businesses HERE and not have a “knee-jerk xenophobic response.”
Well, here’s a story that will not make people happy, even though it may help us ultimately less dependent on foreign oil. Of course, we may become dependent on NEW environmental technology from foreign sources, but…
From Business Week (my bolding):
Suntech Power aims to boost its share of the U.S. market with a solar-panel manufacturing plant to be built in Arizona
China’s Suntech Power Holdings (STP) is no newcomer to the U.S. Last May, President Barack Obama toured the U.S.’s largest solar panel installation at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. There, row upon row of shiny black Suntech panels account for about a third of the 14-megawatt solar farm.
Suntech landed that project the same way it has raced to the top of the fast-growing global solar market: by focusing on price and scale. Now the world’s largest supplier of solar panels is boosting its stake in the U.S. market.
On Nov. 16 in Beijing, the company announced its first American manufacturing plant. The facility, to be located in the Phoenix area, will begin production by next October. “The U.S. market is on the cusp of greatness,” says Steven Chan, Americas president and chief strategy officer for Suntech. With the announcement, Suntech becomes the first major Chinese cleantech player to bring factory j obs to the U.S.
MMMM...wonder how many MORE major Chinese players will be arriving? And on U.S. military bases? (Of course, wasn’t there a flap over Bill Clinton selling military technology to China way back when?)
Now, there are some in Congress that are afraid our home-grown “green manufacturing jobs” won’t get a chance to get off the ground if this sort of thing happens on a regular basis. Sure, the Chinese are manufacturing here, but the factory jobs are THEIR creation, not jobs created by a home-grown company.
Obama’s visit to China focusing on collaboration in green technologies. Suntech’s move may soften criticism from U.S. lawmakers worried that low-cost factories in China will snare new green manufacturing jobs before they even have a chance to take root in the U.S. “[Suntech's] decision to bring manufacturing here to the U.S. is a great sign of the increasingly important collaboration between Chinese and American leaders in the renewable-energy industry,” said Dan Kammen, a professor in the energy and resources group at the University of California at Berkeley, in a statement provided by Suntech.
Gee…that Berkley prof can’t write his own statement??
According to the article, most of the grants the U.S. issues for “cleantech” is winding up overseas:
Suntech’s investment comes as anxieties are rising in Washington over foreign domination of the U.S. cleantech space. In late October the announcement of a Chinese-U.S. consortium planning to build a wind park in Texas using imported Chinese turbines led to calls that federal subsidies should be pulled from the project.The same month, a report from the Investigative Reporting Workshop found that in the wind sector, where foreign manufacturers dominate the market, overseas companies have received 84% of more than $1 billion in federal clean-energy grants released since Sept. 1. The study did not focus on solar energy, but the majority of solar panels are also produced by European and Asian companies.
Texas? Well, naturally…I’d bet that the George Bushes I & II are involved somehow, what with their long-time ties to China…Between them and their heir Barack Obama, things are proceeding very nicely…
In light of my previous post about growing U.S. unemployment, pardon me if I query: WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON??
(Well, we’re going to build electric cars with the Chinese, for one thing…)
Editor’s Note: I loved the space program and now live where Pete Conrad lived…and remember when this irrepressible spirit, who shouted “Whoopee” as he hopped around the moon’s surface, died in a motorcycle crash in California 10 years ago this past July (pictures on this memoria page). (He also rode 2 Gemini missions and Skylab I.)
Filed under: Current Politics, World News | Tagged: Alan Bean, Apollo 12, Asian solar panel companies, Barack Obama, BBC America, Bill Clinton, Business Week, China, Chinese-U.S. wind park in Texas, cleantech, CNBC, Dan Kammen, electric cars, European solar panel companies, federal clean-energy grants, Gemini space missions, George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, global solar market, imported Chinese turbines, Investigative Reporting Workshop, Larry Kudlow, lunar module, Neil Armstrong, Nellis Air Force Base Nevada, NPR radio, Skylab I, solar panels, Stardate.org, Suntech Power Holdings, Surveyor 3, U.S.-China Electric Vehicles Initiative, University of California at Berkleley, wind sector, Zachary Karabell | 13 Comments »