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Counting the Cost

I won’t be silenced by the solar industry

Julianne Malveaux | 4/20/2017, midnight

Be assured, I take this threat seriously. I believe I did nothing wrong, but I do not have millions of dollars to defend myself. SEIA represents companies like Tesla that are worth billions of dollars. It wouldn’t be a fair fight.

I want to be clear: I wrote the rooftop solar piece based on recent correspondence sent by three Democrats in the Congress to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The letter was read by Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas, who is Hispanic, and Reps. Emmanuel Cleaver of Missouri and Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, who are African Americans.

At the end of the letter sent by those congressmen, they stated that the high-pressure sales tactics used by bad actors in the rooftop solar industry are often targeted towards the least sophisticated consumers. Therefore, the matter is a “particular concern for minority communities in our districts and around the nation.” That is where I got the line in my piece that SEIA seems to be so upset about.

If Abigail Ross Harper, the head of SEIA, or anyone at the association has an issue with what I said in my piece, then they should have reached out to me and asked to speak to me. I would have agreed and had an open mind. But the fact that they decided to try and use a hired gun to try and intimidate me and my staff only makes me believe that my original piece—that the rooftop solar industry does not respect minorities—was sadly all too accurate.

Julianne Malveaux is an author, economist and founder of Economic Education. Her podcast, “It’s Personal with Dr. J” is available on iTunes. Her latest book “Are We Better Off? Race, Obama and Public Policy” is available to order at www.juliannemalveaux.com at Amazon.com. Follow Dr. Malveaux on Twitter @drjlastword.