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The invaluable Stephen Lacey writes U.S. Installs Record Amount Of Solar So Far In 2012: Analyst Calls It The ‘Opening Act’ For 4th Quarter Boom:

Almost exactly a year ago, during the height of the Solyndra hysteria, Mitt Romney made a rather odd statement about solar. (Yes, we’re still talking about Romney).

“When other solar companies saw Solyndra get $530 million from the government, investors pulled back in that industry,” he said. “So instead of encouraging solar development, the Obama administration hurt it.”

Actually, the statement wasn’t just odd. It was a flat out lie. In reality, the U.S. solar industry installed record amounts of solar in 2011 while bringing in nearly $2 billion in venture capital. And moving into 2012, that trend continued. In the second quarter of this year, U.S. solar installations jumped 116 percent over the same period in 2011, partly driven by large installations supported by the very loan guarantee program that Romney claimed was killing solar.

And according to Shayle Kann, vice president of research at GTM Research, that deployment was just “the opening act” for the final quarter of this year. According to a new report from GTM and the Solar Energy Industries Association, the U.S. market could see 1.2 gigawatts of solar photovoltaics installed through January, bringing 2012 installations to 3.2 gigawatts. That’s enough capacity to power about half a million average American homes.

GTM Research report on solar energy installations in the U.S. in Q4 2012.
Solar electric installations have been soaring and appear on the verge
of a record fourth quarter in 2012.
According to the The Solar Foundation's National Solar Jobs Census 2012 released Nov. 14, 119,016 Americans now have jobs in the solar industry, a 13.2 percent increase over the previous 12 months.

However, the "sequestration" of parts of the federal budget that would occur if the Congress and President Obama do not come to agreement this year or in the first few months of 2013 could cut those jobs, and jobs in the other renewables industry, significantly, according to a new study by the Economic Policy Institute.

Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2007Making Money and a Mess on Public Lands:

Since arriving in Washington, the Cheney-Bush crew has greatly increased federal oil and gas leasing at taxpayer expense. Only 25 percent of 41 million leased public acres are being drilled. Yet the acquisition of leases continues unabated. Meanwhile, there are fewer federal audits being conducted on those leases than in previous Administrations. As a report last December pointed out, because of the rise in leases and staff cuts at the Minerals Management Service, the government depends on "compliance reviews," which means auditors use information provided by the companies, rather than detailed audits, independent information or site visits.

Tweet of the Day:

Joe Scarborough: Ideologically, I'm Closest to Glenn Beck
@crooksandliars via

On today's Kagro in the Morning show, a shout-out to #saveMI, Greg Dworkin on polls suggesting difficulties finding solutions to the Fiscal Thingy, besides taxes on the wealthy, where Americans agree even as the Gop in Congress might not. A fight over Boehner's Speakership? Well, not if the plotters don't pay closer attention to procedure. Then, filibuster reform and the myth of the "Gang of 14". Finally, what passes for "bold" solutions to the Fiscal Thingy and other problems, and the "bungling" of "the Single Biggest Story of the 2012 Campaign."

High Impact Posts. Top Comments.

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