Mailer was not from Energy & Policy Institute

Last week, The Free Lance–Star printed a letter from a reader who claimed that the Energy and Policy Institute “appeared” to have sent a mailer to Spotsylvania residents about a solar farm and a group that has opposed it called “Concerned Citizens of Spotsylvania County” [“Solar farm mailer is intentionally deceptive,” March 15].

The Energy and Policy Institute, which is a watchdog group that works to expose attacks on renewable energy and debunk misinformation from fossil fuel interests, did not send any mailers about the Spotsylvania solar farm. This letter was the first we had heard of any mailer.

EPI did post an article online on Feb. 26 about the opposition to the Spotsylvania solar farm. In that article, we noted that Concerned Citizens of Spotsylvania County has echoed many misleading attacks on solar energy from fossil fuel-funded groups including the Heritage Foundation, Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, the Institute for Energy Research, and the Taxpayer Protection Alliance.

We did not allege that Concerned Citizens of Spotsylvania County has received funding from those or any other interests, although we did note that most of these same special interest groups have promoted the efforts of the Concerned Citizens group as part of their broader war on solar power nationally.

We also documented how individuals affiliated with climate skeptic groups like the Heartland Institute that have received funding from the fossil fuel industry testified against the Spotsylvania solar project at public hearings held by the State Corporate Commission.

As an example, one project opponent who contacted the SCC used to work for ExxonMobil and the coal producer Peabody Energy, and now does government affairs work for an oil and gas company based in Texas.

Ms. Philipp also implied in her letter that someone paid EPI to send the mailer that we did not send. As we note clearly on our website, the Energy and Policy Institute does not receive any funding from solar companies, or any other private company or trade association. We are funded by non-profit environmental foundations.

Energy and Policy Institute


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