Hypocrisy’s stink hangs over wind farm

Opponents of the proposed wind farm in L’Anse Township have decided to play out the game with a stacked deck presented to the people of Baraga County.

The “Friends of the Land of the Keweenaw” (FOLK), a group previously known for pro-environment causes, brought in a hired gun with connections to coal and petroleum interests to make its case against the Summit Lake Wind Project at its community meeting on Feb. 1.

Calling Kevon Martis, a senior policy fellow of the Energy and Environment Legal Institute, a “wealth of knowledge,” FOLK member Catherine Andrews introduced him as a source of credible knowledge about wind turbines, but much of his presentation focused on what the township government should do to kill the project.

Attempting to pass himself off as “trying to be unbiased,” Martis made sure he touched on myths such as the noise factor, which with new technology has become a non-issue. According to the the U.S. Department of Energy, at a distance of 750 feet, turbines make about as much noise as a household refrigerator.

The preceding sentence offered a credible source for the information it gave, something Martis did not give for the information he provided.

The anti-green, climate-science-denying, libertarian institute he’s affiliated with certainly doesn’t try to be “unbiased.” According to its own website, its top officials have backgrounds in law and/or fossil-fuel industries — energy — but there is not a degree in any environmental science among them.

The number two guy is senior policy fellow Steve Milloy, a former coal company executive who served on Donald Trump’s EPA transition team and author of such in-depth nonfiction as “Scare Pollution,” “Green Hell” and “Silencing Science” — and that’s just from his website resume.

Milloy has affiliations with the Cato and Heartland institutes and was a paid shill for the Philip Morris tobacco company while posing as an independent journalist. He was a featured player in the book “Merchants of Doubt” (by Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway), which looked at the long history of rogue scientists and propagandists who “Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming,” as the book’s subtitle states.

The book has 64 pages of notes and cited sources of information.

Milloy has called the science behind the health effects of secondhand smoke “a joke.”

You would think that someone from such a libertarian-leaning think tank like Martis would be opposed to government intervention and regulation — but you’d be wrong. Martis freely offered advice and suggestions on how to use government as a weapon against the energy business — kill it by making government regulation so restrictive to make it impossible to develop the project.

You want more hypocrisy? Because there is more than just libertarians promoting the use of government to oppress free enterprise, and more than local environmentalists joining forces with anti-environment and anti-science think tanks: Local members of the Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition consulted with FOLK and encouraged bringing in the hired gun to kill the project to produce clean, renewable energy.

There is a lot of stuff that stinks in the wind of this spectacle, and it smells like hypocrisy.

Renewable Energy Systems, which is proposing the wind farm, is holding a community open house Feb. 21 to address all the concerns, both legitimate and manufactured under the guise of being “unbiased.” Community members should attend and challenge RES to make its case.

Then they should turn to the so-called environmentalists among them and ask them about the stacked deck.


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