Coachella Valley...you have undoubtedly seen the news that Solyndra, a domestic solar panel manufacturer that received a Department of Energy (DOE) loan guarantee, recently filed for bankruptcy. This is not indicative of what’s happening with solar, and it is disturbing that some politicians and pundits are using this unfortunate situation as an excuse to heap unwarranted criticism on solar. In the past few days, you have probably heard wild inaccuracies and blatant misstatements about solar energy’s promise and the state of the solar industry. Here are the facts about solar: • The solar industry employs more than 100,000 Americans, more than twice as many as in 2009. They work at more than 5,000 companies, the vast majority being small businesses, in all 50 states. • The U.S. solar industry grew by 69% in the past year, making it one of the fastest growing sectors in the U.S. economy. • Since the beginning of 2010, the price of solar panels has dropped by 30%, and costs continue to fall making solar an even more viable choice for residential and business customers. • The U.S. was a net exporter of solar products in 2010 by $2 billion. We were even a net exporter to China. • Solar power in the U.S. now exceeds 3,100 megawatts (MW), enough to power more than 630,000 homes. • Continued industry growth enhances our energy security and diversifies our domestic energy portfolio. The solar industry is growing and for good reason. It was my wish to deliver the facts to you.