I’ve just finished writing a more than 500-page book about my career at INL containing the quote: 

“Similarly, there used to be a big silicon solar PV manufacturing plant in Frederick, Maryland - “Solarex", then BP (British Petroleum)-owned. It utilized big electric melters to zone refine the raw Si ingots used to make single crystal-type PV cells. Up to circa 2008 Solarex built/sold completely fabricated PV panels 100% wired and ready for shipment. Very few of its workers were from that region — the majority were from East Asia and South America but had settled down around there. It’s uncertain whether the USA’s ballooning power costs caused its demise or BP had finally concluded that it couldn’t compete with “foreigners” in that business anymore.

Like many other states, Maryland’s leadership has not seen fit to retain that sort of heavy manufacturing. Its policies defaulted to offshoring both the factories and the jobs they provided and then having to somehow provide more welfare for more displaced workers with significantly reduced tax revenues. That’s one of the reasons why the USA’s public schools and other such services have become so poorly supported.

"This is the sort of brilliant planning/policies that has led to the USA's current degree of political polarization — its 'working class' has indeed been left behind meaning that especially stable, reality show geniuses like our current president can take advantage of them.”

I’ve finally decided to move — does anyone want to buy a nice house “on the river” north of Idaho Falls?

Darryl Siemer

Idaho Falls