Solar farm mailer is intentionally deceptive

We received a mailing today that lied about the ”Concerned Citizens of Spotsylvania County.” The postcard called the group of citizens a “dark money group” with ties to the fossil fuel industry.

Nothing could be further from the truth. This is a citizens’ group whose only concern is what is best for Spotsylvania. No funding is received from any outside source. The group is self-funded by the volunteer members.

The mailing appeared to have been sent by the Energy and Policy Institute. I did some research. Their mission, stated on their website, says: “The Energy and Policy Institute is a watchdog organization working to expose attacks on renewable energy and counter misinformation by fossil fuel and utility interests.”

The Concerned Citizens is not attacking renewable energy. We think sPower’s proposed project is too big for Spotsylvania, and there are too many unknown factors about the safe operation of such a big project in the middle of our residential, historic and agricultural county.

Further research found the website of the Campaign for Accountability, a 501c(3) non-profit, nonpartisan watchdog organization that uses research, litigation and aggressive communications to expose misconduct and malfeasance in public life.

Their new report, “What is the Energy and Policy Institute?” reveals that the EPI is “just as secretive as the organizations it exposes. EPI is a dark money group: it does not appear to have nonprofit status, it is not registered with any relevant secretary of state, and no one admits to funding it.”

It appears that EPI may be simply the creation of a public relations firm. Nevertheless, journalists treat EPI as they would any other watchdog organization.

Who paid the EPI to send a mailing to Spotsylvania residents with lies about the Concerned Citizens? Why are they trying to discredit the group?

Katherine Philipp


Editor’s Note: According to The Energy and Policy Institute’s Executive Director David Pomerantz, “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.”

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