Sen.Bernie Sanders(I-VT), chairman of the Senate’s green jobs subcommittee, introduced legislation with nine cosponsors to encourage the installation of 10 million solar systems on the rooftops of homes and businesses over the next decade, according

The 10 Million Solar Roofs and 10 Million Gallons of Solar Water Heating Bill of 2010 proposes to authorize rebates which, along with other incentives, would cover up to half the cost of the 10 million solar power systems and 200,000 water heating systems. Nonprofit groups and state and local governments also would be eligible.

“At a time when we spend $350 billion importing oil from Saudi Arabia and other countries every year, the United States must move away from foreign oil to energy independence,” Sanders said. “A dramatic expansion of solar power is a clean and economical way to help break our dependence on foreign oil, reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming, improve our geopolitical position and create good-paying green jobs.” reported the Obama administration has requested $2.4 billion for energy efficiency and renewable energy programs in the 2011 budget. The requested 5 percent boost overall includes a 22 percent increase for solar power.

The legislation’s cosponsors include Environment and Public Works Committee ChairmanBarbara Boxer(D-CA) and Sens.Patrick Leahy(D-VT),Frank Lautenberg(D-NJ), Robert Menendez(D-NJ),Sheldon Whitehouse(D-RI),Ben Cardin(D-MD), Jeff Merkley (D-OR),Kirsten Gillibrand(D-NY) and Sen.Arlen Specter(D-PA).