Wow! In the last week, over 20,000 people across the US have called on President Obama to meet his administration's self-imposed deadline for installing solar panels on the White House roof before the end of Spring 2011 on June 21st. We're expecting the momentum to grow as the date approaches.

The media is also picking up the story with outlets like Forbes, Politico, Consumer Reports, and others asking the question: will the panels make it up on the roof in time? 

Clearly, the real challenge for President Obama (and all of us) is not just getting solar panels up on the roof of the White House, but up on rooftops across America and around the world. It's good to see the administration, and especially the Department of Energy (DOE), putting more money, time and energy towards promoting clean energy and solar. On Monday, DOE launched a new initiative to build a smart grid for clean electricity. 

But we need more than a few policies and programs, we need real leadership. As Bill McKibben recently told Politico, 

This is a can-do administration–just this year they managed to open federal land in the Powder River Basin to coal-mining with the stroke of a pen, and that's the equivalent of opening 300 new coal-fired power plants. So I'm almost sure that if they really set their minds to it, they'll be able to meet their 9-month timetable for a home-repair project on the roof of the White House. This is one that Congress can't filibuster; it doesn't require Seal Team 6. It's even been done before, by the supposedly ineffective Jimmy Carter way the heck back in 1978. So we're eager to help mount the celebration when the great day comes!

Hopefully, that day will be before this June 21st.