Walmart is well-known for exploiting its workers and squeezing its suppliers. But what few know is that, in an audacious new move, the Walton family has unleashed its immense resources on a campaign attacking rooftop solar in the United States.
According to a new report, the Walton family, which owns Walmart, is working to undermine rooftop solar by promoting anti-solar state policies and donating millions of dollars to fossil fuel-backed front groups
The Walton family cannot claim to support solar power when it is actively attacking America’s rooftop solar industry. On the heels of these shocking revelations, we have a unique opportunity to show Walmart that funding anti-solar groups is bad for the planet, and bad for business.
The Waltons own a majority stake in First Solar, a Malaysia-based corporation that manufactures large-scale commercial solar arrays that utilities may buy and add to their energy mix to meet state clean energy standards. First Solar is putting a bet on utility-scale solar, which wants to rig the playing field by suppressing residential solar installations. In a nakedly self-serving move, First Solar is working to impose fees on residential households with rooftop solar.
First Solar sees rooftop solar as a competitive threat, and is heavily involved in cutthroat campaigns nationwide to destroy the residential rooftop solar industry and make it harder for Americans to go solar.
Their strategy is already working in Arizona, where residential solar installations dropped 40% after Walton family-supported fees were introduced, leading to unprecedented job losses in Arizona’s solar industry. Not satisfied with a single state, the Waltons have also given millions to pro-fossil fuel groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the Koch brothers front group, Americans for Prosperity, to fund similar anti-clean energy policies across the country.
Walmart claims that it “envisions a world where people do not have to choose between electricity they can afford and renewable electricity that is good for communities and the planet,” but it is working against that vision by attacking an increasingly popular way for American families to access solar power.3 A public campaign will discredit Walmart’s carefully cultivated greenwashing campaign, and get the Walton family’s attention by calling out their hypocrisy.
Here’s a petition to sign: