Emily Atkin is a deputy climate editor and reporter at ThinkProgress in Washington, D.C.

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Who Owns the Sun?

by Emily Atkin 05-07-2015
Utility companies promote laws that seek to prevent rooftop solar systems.

(oatfeelgood / Shutterstock)

FOR SOMETHING as simple as sunlight, the solar energy industry can be a bit complicated. But that never stopped pastor Brian Flory from trying to see the light.

“Putting solar panels on the roof of our congregation was important to us,” said Flory, who runs the Beacon Heights Church of Brethren in Fort Wayne, Ind. “For us it seemed like a wonderful opportunity to live out the values that our faith was leading us toward.”

To live out one of the core values of his faith—being good stewards of God’s creation—Flory began the process of installing panels on his church’s roof in 2014. He’d barely raised the needed $20,000 to support the project when a bill in the Indiana state legislature nearly stopped him in his tracks.