Anti-Solar Misinformation Spread By Group Lead By GOP Insider, Former Abramoff Aide

Solar farm at sunset
Jackyenjoyphotography / Getty Images
Why you can trust us

Founded in 2005 as an Ohio-based environmental newspaper, EcoWatch is a digital platform dedicated to publishing quality, science-based content on environmental issues, causes, and solutions.

A political group deeply connected to conservative politics and a major fossil fuel investor is spreading misinformation around the country in a coordinated effort to undermine solar energy, especially in rural communities, NPR and Floodlight report.

Citizens for Responsible Solar was founded by Susan Ralston, a former aide to Karl Rove who resigned from the George W. Bush administration over her dealings for disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

When she was launching the group, Ralston consulted with anti-renewable energy activist John Droz who defended Trump’s claim that wind turbines cause cancer and her consulting firm received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the foundation of a major fossil fuel investor who is also a leading GOP donor.

The group claims it is only against certain solar projects, but its website makes broad and false claims about solar energy overall, including that it contributes to climate change. Once the misinformation spread by CRS and other groups like it takes hold in rural communities, it can harm individuals — like Roger Houser in Page County, Virginia, who was blocked from building a dollar array on his own farm — and efforts to combat climate change more broadly.

“It’s an enormous concern,” said Alan Anderson, a Kansas renewable energy lawyer. “If we can’t get projects permitted at counties or townships or whatever local level makes a decision, we can’t do any of the goals we think we need to do for climate change.”

For a deeper dive:

NPR, Floodlight

For more climate change and clean energy news, you can follow Climate Nexus on Twitter and Facebook, sign up for daily Hot News, and visit their news site, Nexus Media News.

Subscribe to get exclusive updates in our daily newsletter!

    By signing up, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy & to receive electronic communications from EcoWatch Media Group, which may include marketing promotions, advertisements and sponsored content.

    Read More

    Coal Capacity Increased 2% Globally in 2023, the Most Since 2016
    The annual Global Energy Monitor (GEM) survey, Boom and Bust
    By Cristen Hemingway Jaynes
    Africa’s ‘Mining Boom’ Threatens More Than a Third of Its Great Apes
    More than a third of Africa’s great apes are being
    By Cristen Hemingway Jaynes
    Carbon Emissions Reduction Rate in U.S. Has Doubled Since Passage of Inflation Reduction Act, Report Finds
    The rate of carbon emissions cuts in the United States
    By Cristen Hemingway Jaynes

    Subscribe to get exclusive updates in our daily newsletter!

      By signing up, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy & to receive electronic communications from EcoWatch Media Group, which may include marketing promotions, advertisements and sponsored content.

      Latest Articles