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Articles by Mario Alejandro Ariza

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This story was originally published by Floodlight, a nonprofit newsroom that investigates the powerful interests stalling climate action, and Capital B, a nonprofit news organization that centers Black voices, audience needs and experiences, and partners with the communities it serves.

Former Florida state Rep. Joe Gibbons sat in the library of the Faith Community Church in Greensboro, North Carolina, trying to convince its pastor to quit promoting rooftop solar.

With a lobbyist’s charm, Gibbons told the Rev. Nelson Johnson that rooftop solar, which allows customers to generate their own renewable electricity, was bad for people of color. Gibbons argued that it creates an imbalance in which those without solar panels end up subsidizing those who have them, Johnson recalled in an interview with Floodlight. 

Johnson, a civil rights stalwart who was stabbed by a member of the Ku Klux Klan in 1979, had trouble believing him.

“It felt like he was an employee of Duke,” Johnson said... Read more