An activist group is stopping rural US solar farms with lies

An activist group is stopping rural US solar farms with lies

An investigation by NPR and Projector in a nonprofit group using false propaganda to shut down rural solar power projects across the United States is a must read.

The storyby Miranda Green of Floodlight and Michael Copley of NPR, is about Citizens for Responsible Solar, a group that launched in 2019. The group has adopted anti-wind activist strategies and worked with local groups to fight against projects solar panels in at least nine states. , according to its website.

Farmers who want to install solar farms on their land are being robbed of this opportunity, as Citizens for Responsible Solar falsely claims that “large solar projects in rural areas destroy the earth And contribute to climate changedespite evidence to the contrarywrite Green and Copley.

Ryan Kellman/NPR, Courtesy NPR. The photo is of farmer Roger Houser in Page County, Virginia, and it’s captioned in the original story: “I find it funny that the signs say ‘No solar on OUR farmland,” Houser says. “I asked a few [opponents] if they would like to come and help make hay in June, and none of them have volunteered to come and help their agricultural land.”

Citizens for Responsible Solar is not a grassroots group – it was founded by Washington insider Susan B. Ralston, a White House aide during the George W. Bush administration who quit after being embroiled in two scandals, according to the New York Times.

Michael Burger, executive director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University, says in the NPR/Projector history:

I think for years there’s been this feeling that it’s not all a coincidence. That local groups are popping up in different places, saying the same things, using the same online campaign materials.

[It’s a] national effort to foment local opposition to renewable energy.

What this reflects is the unfortunate politicization of climate change, the politicization of energy and, unfortunately, the political nature of the energy transition, which is really only a necessary response to an environmental reality.

You can read the full investigative article here.

Electrek’s Grasp

I’ve noticed a lot more anti-sun propaganda in my Google alerts, which is worrying on two fronts. First, the anti-sun lies are picked up by local media who don’t seem to check the facts, and second, Google legitimizes these fake articles.

Now I know it’s coordinated at the national level. When NPR’s media relations manager contacted me today about this investigative story, I was happy to amplify their findings.

We at Electrek don’t often cover other media coverage, but this story exposes lies that prove to be deeply impactful. Preventing the adoption of renewable energy in the United States would be potentially devastating not just locally, but globally. And getting away with lies would be tragic.

Learn more: These new vertical solar systems are specially designed for farms

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