By Robert Bradley Jr. — March 3, 2023
“A major player in the renewable energy opposition in rural Michigan is Kevon Martis, who works for E&E Legal, a D.C.-based lobbying firm that gets funding from the fossil fuel industry.” (Sinclair, below)
“Those are the people funding Peter Sinclair: huge fossil fuel entities. Yet he plays the fossil fuel card against me when I have never received a dime from any fossil entity unless you count my cashback credit card used for gasoline purchases!” (Martis, below)
DC-based Big Environmentalism has a grassroots problem: local residents who do not like or want super-sized industrial wind turbines and multi-acre solar slabs. It is more than NIMBY since taxpayer dollars put such (unneeded, duplicative) machinery in play. But also respect the opposition’s rational concern about mega-machinery noise, visual blight, health effects, and property devaluation.
Kevon Martis, who has a day job, fights wind on the side without compensation. He does not work for E&E Legal (per Sinclair) but has an honorary title. Yet Martis has been very effective in making the case against rural industrialization by governmental means.
Peter Sinclair hurls ad hominems against Martis with Big Wind (and indirectly, Big Oil) behind him. This post presents the latest from Sinclair, posted earlier this week at Yale Climate Connections, followed by Martis’s rebuttal (email to author).
In small Michigan townships, local planning meetings have recently turned into shouting matches over wind and solar projects. Town supervisors report being harassed on Facebook and spit on in public. Often, the opposition comes from a small number of people who attend meetings in communities that are considering a renewable energy project — even if they don’t live there. And it’s not just happening in Michigan.
“If you look at the things that are being presented in our community, you’ll see the same exact tactics whether it’s in Ohio or Indiana or wherever you’re talking about,” said Ashlyn Newell, a teacher in Maple Valley Township, Michigan.
The anti-renewable opposition is seeing success. A report from Columbia University found that restrictions on renewable energy projects have popped up in 31 states. NPR reported recently on a proposed solar project that was shut down in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. And in 2022, activists in Montcalm County, Michigan, halted a 375-megawatt wind project.
Some of these protests appear to have ties to fossil fuel interests. A major player in the renewable energy opposition in rural Michigan is Kevon Martis, who works for E&E Legal, a D.C.-based lobbying firm that gets funding from the fossil fuel industry.
Learn more about this growing battle in this two-part video series.
Peter Sinclair is a radical leftist who, curiously, works for the fossil-fuel funded Michigan “Conservative” Energy forum. They have an offshoot called, perversely, the Land and Liberty Coalition.
Peter admits Wind industry funding for his work. He told an audience of about 40 people in Saginaw County that he is funded in part by APEX Clean Energy, Detroit Edison and Invenergy. All of them own fossil fuel generation or, in the case of APEX, are owned by an investment house–ARES Management– that has large holdings in gas extraction, hydraulic fracturing and power generation. ( ARES CEO Tony Ressler has been labeled the “Fracketeer” by the anti-fossil mob.)
Those are the people funding Peter Sinclair: huge fossil fuel entities. Yet he plays the fossil fuel card against me when I have never received a dime from any fossil entity unless you count my cashback credit card used for gasoline purchases!
Peter now says I am employed by E&E Legal but I am not. They gave me an honorary Senior Policy Fellow title and nothing more. They like some of my writing on energy policy. They are in no way involved in fighting local renewable energy battles. And my lawyer made that clear to Peter a number of years ago.
Peter has released a series of libelous videos attacking me and my friends for standing up for our communities and opposing irresponsible and impotent renewable energy development. What Peter does not tell is that he, like most of the local officials in his videos, are all on the payroll of APEX Clean Energy.
And he does not tell anyone in his video that the APEX project in Montcalm County Michigan was to cover 10-11 townships with 600’+ tall wind turbines-300 square miles.
So while it is true that people from “other townships” showed up at neighboring township meetings, it’s because the project spanned so many townships.
It is ironic that Peter singles me out as an outside agitator in Montcalm. Peter lobbies this market (video here) where he gives talks about wind energy. They are poorly done and poorly attended, and he has absolutely no land-use credentials of any kind. Is Peter from Montcalm County? No. He is from Midland County and the closest wind turbines to his urban community are many miles away. And unlike me, Peter is actually paid for his efforts and paid by the APEX Fracketeer, Invenergy and DTE Energy.
My involvement in Montcalm was a Zoom lecture on wind zoning. I also spoke at the local residents’ Big Wind Go Home rally (republished at MasterResource).
Peter and his corporate masters at APEX and Land and Liberty are working overtime in Michigan to strip away township control of wind and solar siting. They are using the Montcalm County experience to peddle a false narrative to the new Democratic majority in the Michigan legislature, namely: “One Man (ME!) should not have the power to destroy the planet! He must be stopped at all costs and the way to do that is to take away township control of wind and solar.”
Oddly, in the Midwestern states of Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin and Illinois, the two states with the least amount of wind development are the states who have, or had until recently, state control of wind siting. (Ohio just gave wind siting back to the counties.) Michigan, Indiana and Illinois which have either county or township regulation of wind siting have far MORE installed wind capacity. https://windexchange.energy.gov/maps-data/321
The APEX leaseholders in Peter’s video argue that the local opposition “follow a script”. The only script used by locals is the state laws that permit referendum, initiative and recall. And yes, that looks the same in every township because the state gave those same rules to every township.
But there is another script at work in Montcalm and Peter documents it well. Harvest the officials, then harvest the wind.
Most of the local officials in Sinclair’s videos are under lease agreement with APEX yet in most cases advocated for permissive wind development as officials even though it would line their own pockets. Then, when locals protest the naked conflict of interest, the developers and their henchmen like Sinclair accuse the locals of “terrorism” and “cult” behavior. Interestingly, local protests against wind development have never risen to the level of tactics employed by PETA or Greenpeace. Wind opponents in Michigan have never chained themselves to bulldozers, attacked ships, glued themselves to the floor or defaced priceless artwork. And Peter never attacks those environmentalists’ actions.
Interestingly, a few days ago, Greta Thunberg closed down part of Norway’s government as she protested wind development among the indigenous Sami people. She called the proposed development “green colonialism”. I won’t hold my breath waiting for Peter to attack her efforts or to label her a terrorist or enemy of the planet. But her concerns about that development are mine: local people must be protected from irresponsible industrialization of rural spaces, green or not.
In the end, Sinclair’s ever more shrill attacks on me are desperate attempt at relevance in a space where he just doesn’t matter. He now has only interest in trying to cancel me.
But I cannot be cancelled. Liberty and amenity of home are worth defending, and the more times my flag runs up the pole, the more people salute.
Note: Kevon Martis posts and updates at MasterResource can be found here.
Brilliant, Kevin. Stick to your guns!
Sorry Kevon – auto correct.
Used to watch Sinclair’s videos years ago when posted on Little Green Footballs. He was dodgy then so this post confirms the leopard-spots saying.
The Michigan Republican Party is partly to blame for this. After Granholm left they could have gotten rid of RES laws, but didn’t. The electric plant where I live has been sold twice due to other power companies wanting to get the hydro power to help with environmental laws. Each time prices rise.
There are wind mills just south of Mackinac Bridge, a solar panel field in an area that can get 35” of snow in a storm, and tribal demands to shut Line 5 but no large wind farms on tribal land. Only casinos.
I cringe at it all.
Unless they can legislate to stop a sequencer from working they’ll never have a chance.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again- I love the art work at the top of this site’s articles- whether done by an artist or AI- makes no difference- they’re very good!
When I first looked at the art piece at the top of this article I thought “hmmm… a bunch of old coots”- but then I realized I’m an old coot with white hair and beard.
I may look like them but I IDENTIFY as 18 years old.
I read a study one time that said most people think of themselves as being in their prime (say 25 years old), no matter how old they really are.
I may want to think that, but every time I go out for a walk, my body tells me otherwise.
Yeah, we think that way until we look in the mirror! 🙂
Sure looks like a port-a-pot toilet on the left with “L 14 TOE or B Sorr” at the top of the door.
“… local residents who do not like or want super-sized industrial wind turbines and multi-acre solar slabs…”
Like me, here in central Wokachusetts. An 18 acre solar “farm” was built right up against the modest (small ranch house) neighborhood I live in. Some of us fought it- we sued the town and the solar company. We settled by pushing them back a bit and they offered some money to do some landscaping behind our homes to somewhat hide their “farm”. I watched it be developed- took many hours of video and several hundred photos. They actually let me walk around the acreage as they developed it. So I then made a rank amateur video about it.
This all happened in 2012. I had the video on Vimeo at first then later put it on YouTube.
The idiots on the town planning board might have gotten kickbacks because they kept saying how awesome this solar “farm” would be – and highly beneficial to the town!
Non tracking grid scale arrays are not economic in Australia because they compete directly with rooftops. Tracking arrays get a couple of hours in the morning and afternoon to make money. The attached shows how the grid arrays (solid yellow) reach maximum output around 8am and they maintain that till around 4pm. The rooftop (yellow line) follow a more sinusoidal curve. Often the grid scale will dip through the middle of the day but you can see they were able to export (pink line) about half of the grid solar to avoid economic curtailment.
It would be years for that array to recover the energy in the fuel used for the land preparations.
I also expect local summer temperature has climbed since the greenery and water was removed and replaced with low reflectivity solar panels – unless snow covered of course.
The panels appear to mounted at about 30 degrees. Even without snow cover, they would be way under rating in winter.
Does Sinclair get funding from Big Wind? I think there’s a significant amount of funding into the Green propaganda organisations. Many times that from the fossil fuel industry I’d hazard a guess. I need to go and do some digging.
No lie is too big in support of the cause.
When folks say “funding from the fossil fuel industry,” they should be more explicit. If electric power generation is mostly or even somewhat fossil fuel (coal and gas), does that make it the “fossil fuel industry?” I really doubt that Exxon Mobil or Chevron is lobbying townships for wind farms.
The electric power generation industry is being coerced by government and the lunatic regressives into lobbying for and building intermittent, parasitic generation capacity. Most generators have a mixed portfolio, some skewed heavily but not exclusively toward ruinables. Thus, they intend to build, but that takes landsmen and permits. At that point, they behave like any coercive, ugly bully — bribing politicians, lying to property owners, making false claims, ad hominem attacks on opponents, whining about the climate, etc.
“When folks say “funding from the fossil fuel industry,””
And then I say, “So what!? For the most part, lobbists on both sides of the issue are paid to lobby.
The climate change alarmists/Windmill Barons want to talk about the funding of their opposition rather than the merits of their own proposals. It’s a smokescreen.
Even lobbiest who do not get paid, like the subject of this article, are smeared with being biased because they take money from some source. It’s all a distraction from the real issues. It’s what people do who can’t make their case any other way.
What I do not understand is why wind and solar advocates want to locate in places with poor wind and solar resources.
Your government at work.
These facilities harvest taxpayer dollars.
Electrons are a secondary source of income.
Well that is certainly part of it. For example, the EPA put solar panels of their roof in Seattle. Never produced any electricity but they got a nice picture.
I am retired from the power industry and heavily invested in it. You make money by getting the most electricity for your capital cost.
Kip – I’d say it used to be that way (making money from generation), now though it looks like capacity payments (deregulated markets) and RECs are the way…
There’s no end of nasty back-and-forth in the renewable energy siting business.
Why Britain is suddenly blowing cold on a wind power revolution
Danish giant Orsted:
£8bn Hornsea Three development was no longer viable under the terms agreed with the Government and threatened to mothball the project without tax breaks to offset rising costs.
‘You cannot build an energy system if nobody makes a return in doing so’
Bill David, Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Oxford:
The future of transport: Cars could be powered by baking powder while planes could run on fertiliser by the end of the DECADE.
Whatever happened to electric cars and planes ?!
Speaking of NPR….they aren’t biased much.
As I always say, if cities want runnable power, let them build it on top of themselves.
and “save the environment!”
Doh. ‘‘Ruinable” power.
and here would be one of the proponents of windmills as far as the eye can see –
can’t do it in the cities.
the amount of bloody biomass littering the streets from the blade-kills would be too much for most people to bear.
Good source of protein for hungry city folks. Instead of roadkill, it would be skykill.
A niche solution is the very model of a cult.
Two things, my hat is off to Kevon Martis, you are braver than me. Peter Sinclair is a liar and a cheat. There is an easy way to defeat him. Where ever he shows up to push wind and solar you and your people need to show up. Be prepared go after Peter show the audience all of the things he has said that simply aren’t true. Show that you corrected him. Show who he works for and represents and who they are. Show that he made personal attacks on others because they had a different opinion. Ask the audience if they really trust a man who uses false information against another man. Ask if they trust a man who accuses someone of being in the pocket of big oil when in fact it is the reverse. Let him know every where he talks you will be their to enlighten the audience and fill them with the truth. You take care of Peter and others like him will think twice before being dishonest. You want to promote wind and solar fine but don’t be a turd while you are doing it.
I have been the object of one article featured on Yale Climate Connections mentioned as Mr. Sinclear’s site. I have viewed their site before and just watched the videos this article by Mr. Martis discusses. These videos describe activities by groups opposing wind and solar projects. There are several folks interviewed that describe the opposition as raucous, loud, nearly violent, well organized, and always aimed at producing fear in the commissioners and land owners. There was very little clear video evidence of this type of activity in Sinclear’s video. I find that description hard to accept. It is certainly not my experience with knowledgeable folks discussing the pros and cons of renewable energy. I do hope that is not the case and Mr. Martis is opposing these renewable projects with facts and data to inform the local populations.
Tilting at windmills will not stop China…
Pioneer Says Permian Oil Could Peak in 5 Years: CERAWeek Update (yahoo.com)
One of the tenets of liberalism is that there is no legitimate reason for opposing them.
This is why they have to invent ever more fanciful lies in order to taint their opposition.
They have to go this route because they have found that they can’t win an argument using facts or logic.
VP Harris claims that as a child, she once asked her mother why conservatives were bad
Is declaring that those who disagree with you are bad people, how a “uniter” is supposed to act?
Come on Kevon they’re only interested in saving the planet sustainably-
Could zebra stripes steer birds clear of offshore wind turbines? | RenewEconomy
One of the pet grievances of the renewable skeptics and the anti wind and solar brigade is that nearly all claims of 100 per cent renewables are not really that at all.
How a wind farm and a big battery will deliver 24/7 power to one of world’s biggest mines | RenewEconomy
See you skeptical folks just don’t understand virtual batteries.
It doesn’t seem to matter how much wind generation you have.
Currently in the UK (7th March 2023 22:00) wind is providing just 2.17% of the UK electrical supply.
They have had to turn on the coal fired stations – 2.28%
So coal is producing more electricity than wind!!!