Policy makers recognize that it’s wrong to discriminate against groups of Americans due to race, but a new proposal in Washington would benefit some groups of Americans over others simply because of how much sunlight they enjoy.

To comply with the unratified Kyoto global warming treaty and encourage use of alternative energy, President Clinton is calling for one million American homes to be equipped with solar panels by 2010.

Since the high cost of generating solar energy makes it wasteful, inefficient, and undesirable to purchase, the president’s plan would offer tax credits to homeowners who buy and install the expensive solar panels in their homes.

Solar panels obviously work better in areas with more sunlight, so who will benefit most from solar tax breaks?

Certainly not Michigan residents, who see less sunlight than people in most of the rest of the country. Phoenix, for example, gets on average 67 percent more sunlight per month than Lansing. In the cold depths of January, when energy bills in Lansing are highest, Phoenix enjoys 148 percent more sunlight.

Tax relief should be given fairly to all Americans across the board—and not as a reward for living in the right place or using a government-preferred energy source to power your home.

For the Mackinac Center, this is Catherine Martin.