Joe Biden’s gaffes about coal and FDR have received a great deal of attention.  The press has yet to focus on an equally ridiculous statement:  “The first guy to support solar energy was me 26 years ago.”  No, American political leaders were talking about solar energy long before 1982.  Take Richard Nixon for example:

  • 1971: “The sun offers an almost unlimited supply of energy if we can learn to use it economically. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Science Foundation are currently re-examining their efforts in this area and we expect to give greater attention to solar energy in the future.”
  • 1972: “In addition to carrying forward the priority efforts I have already announced the liquid metal fast breeder reactor, pipeline quality gas from coal, and sulfur oxide control technology–the budget provides funds for new or increased efforts on fusion power, solar energy, magneto-hydrodynamics, industrial gas from coal, dry cooling towers for power plant waste heat, large energy storage batteries and advanced underground electric transmission lines.”
  • 1973: “Solar energy holds great promise as a potentially limitless source of clean energy. My new budget triples our solar energy research and development effort to a level of $12 million. A major portion of these funds would be devoted to accelerating the development of commercial systems for heating and cooling buildings.”
  • 1974: “And that is why we are going forward in terms of our huge Government programs in research and development for the purpose of seeing that our coal resources can be developed into a clean fuel. That is why we are going forward in our programs for the development of solar energy and nuclear power which, of course, would be clean fuel.”

Biden’s statement is much sillier than Al Gore’s claims about his role in developing the Internet, which actually had some foundation.  In this case, the inventor of solar energy was not Joe Biden.  It was … uh, God.