Kevon Martis Responds to ‘Heated’ Ad Hominem
By Robert Bradley Jr. -- February 10, 2023
“Though Martis’s crusade hasn’t been covered much by national media, clean energy advocates say it’s actively hamstringing the fight against climate change in the Midwest. A clean energy executive told HEATED and Distilled that if Martis gets to a community before them, their projects are almost certain to be blocked by the local government. The executive asked for anonymity in fear of being targeted by Martis.” (Heated, below)
“This piece is part of a new round of hits on people like myself who advocate for equitable siting of renewable energy projects. This new assault is being driven by current efforts in the Midwest by the renewable energy lobby to take away local control of wind and solar zoning precisely because it is demonstrably so unpopular and faces an ever-larger backlash.” (Martis, below)
“Meet the man fueling clean energy opposition in the Midwest” by Michael Thomas is the latest from Heated, self-described as “A newsletter for people who are pissed off about the climate crisis.” The subtitle of the Thomas article is: “Kevon Martis and a group of fossil fuel-funded allies have led a decades-long campaign to sow fear and misinformation about renewable energy. It’s working.”
Thomas’s insinuations are old ones: that Kevon Martis is a fossil fuel shill, a zealot, and [fill in the blank]. In fact, Martis can and has been characterized as a heroic public citizen, waking up his fellow ordinary citizens about industrializing the pristine for bad, unneeded, government-enabled energy. (For more on Martis, see here.) And what he is doing is happening across the country, as Robert Bryce updates at his Renewable Rejection Database.
Some quotations from the Heated piece follow, followed by a rebuttal from Kevon Martis:
- “[Kevon Martis is] the public face of one of the most influential anti-renewable efforts in the country.
- “Aided by a small group of allies—many of whom receive money from the fossil fuel industry—Martis has helped pass dozens of laws that ban or severely restrict clean energy development in towns and counties across the Midwest.”
- “Though Martis’s crusade hasn’t been covered much by national media, clean energy advocates say it’s actively hamstringing the fight against climate change in the Midwest.”
- A clean energy executive told HEATED and Distilled that if Martis gets to a community before them, their projects are almost certain to be blocked by the local government. The executive asked for anonymity in fear of being targeted by Martis.
- “The … ad helped IICC secure its first victory. In July 2011, Riga passed one of the country’s most restrictive wind turbine ordinances, effectively banning wind energy projects in the area. Martis quickly expanded the campaign, eventually helping pass similar ordinances in nine other towns and counties.
- ‘…”IICC successfully helped block a law that would have required utilities in Michigan to generate 25 percent of their energy from renewables by 2025.”
- “In order to pass these laws, he’s used misinformation and fear-based tactics that wind up dividing entire communities.”
- “Martis declined to be interviewed for this story. In an email to HEATED and Distilled, he expressed offense at being described as an opponent of clean energy. ‘Objective ‘journalists’ don’t lead with insulting pejorative phrases like ‘opposition to clean energy,’” he wrote. At the bottom of the email he added “#fail #bias”.”
- “Today Martis … continues to run advertising campaigns asking residents to block solar and wind projects and regularly spreads misinformation on Facebook.”
- “Martis has said his overall strategy is to sow fear among pro-renewable politicians. In a recent Facebook post, Martis wrote, ‘Your county commissioners will not be moved by facts. They will be moved by political fear.’”
- “Martis attended an event in Washington D.C. with some of the country’s most influential climate deniers.”
- Disinformation was a key part of IICC’s strategy from the beginning. As a part of their first campaign, the group bought a TV ad that claimed a proposed wind farm in southeast Michigan could “harm your families’ health, significantly reduce property values, and damage TV and radio signals, possibly depriving your family of important safety alerts.”
The full attack on Martis is here. But obviously, the climate alarmists and forced energy transformationists (whose whole agenda depends on government coercion) do not like Martis to have success playing political hard ball like they do. Climate exaggeration and extremism is okay, but not Martis’s fact-based presentations and follow-up that exposes the economic and ecological downsides of government-enabled, dilute, intermittent energy sources.
Congratulations Kevon Martis!
Rebuttal from Martis
Kevon Martis emailed me these quick points, reproduced below.
- This is a rehash of every bogus hit piece ever printed about me. It is the latest in a long line of eco-drivel attacks going back to Mike Barnard, David Anderson and Peter Sinclair.
- The piece quotes me out of context in multiple places particularly in the way it attempts to paint me as a person inciting violence. I have never advocated for violence.
- I help communities, largely at my own expense, because as a Christian (and not a very good one), I believe when someone asks for help and I have the means to help, I should help.
- My Facebook quote referring to violent acts by others as a cautionary tale to legislators seeking to force high percentage of utility scale wind and solar projects into rural communities is not incitement. It is a hyperbolic way to draw attention to the forces unleashed by the senseless destruction of rural or wild places with massive energy harvesting machines. I do not condone it nor encourage it. But the risk is real. Thus, the true cost of high percentages of wind and solar coercion into rural communities very well could include the cost of a new statehouse. Not a threat, not an incitement: an observation
- The article continues a common theme that people opposed to the de-wilding of rural places caused by wind and solar development, pejoratively referred to as the “antis” are borderline terrorists, and that I somehow am personally responsible for inciting them.
- I have seen outrageous behavior by people at local meetings where wind or solar projects are being proposes and resisted. Nine out of ten times, the bad actors are the wind/solar leaseholders, and at least one time I had to deploy a sheriff’s deputy to compel an attorney representing Invenergy to stop disrupting a local citizens’ meeting.
- This piece paints a picture of a man-ME-who apparently possesses so much dark power of persuasion, bordering on the Grima Wormtongue, that a mere 40 minute zoning talk can turn a crowd of renewable energy supporters into fossil-fuel-charmed Martis sycophants. If I had that kind of power, I would be in Zermatt right now in front of a fireplace watching it snow, spending my vast fortune accrued from an amazing career in PR and marketing, not remodeling people’s bathrooms!
- The truth is, 2,000 acre solar farms surrounding people’s homes or 4 townships of 600’ tall wind turbines are despised out-of-the-box by people around the world. And since I do not possess omnipresence and I am not a polyglot, it is impossible to blame me for the “antis” in France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Spain, Scotland, England or Austria.
- The saddest part of the piece is the false claim by my neighbor John Tuckerman who claims that I was a frustrated housebuilder who took revenge on my own township when the township rejected my proposed development. In other words, “If I can’t have my housing development, I am going to take your wind turbines away”. The fact is that I never applied for nor proposed any such development and did not own or have any interest in any buildable acreage in my township at that time. The claim is simply a lie–and not a new but an old one.
- This piece is part of a new round of hits on people like myself who advocate for equitable siting of renewable energy projects. This new assault is being driven by current efforts in the Midwest by the renewable energy lobby to take away local control of wind and solar zoning precisely because it is demonstrably so unpopular and faces an ever-larger backlash.
- While they failed in Indiana in their first attempt, they just succeeded in Illinois and are pushing hard in Michigan. These hit pieces are peddled to sympathetic state legislators and the punch line is this: We need the state to take control of wind and solar zoning because One Man is stopping all development and One Man cannot have such power. And that One Man is me.
- The truth is that in Michigan, even with township level control of zoning and in spite of all the opposition these projects are fostering in rural communities, the wind industry in particular has been more successful getting more iron into the ground here in Michigan than in states like Ohio and Wisconsin who actually have state control of renewable energy siting
- Finally, this piece paints me as a vicious villain, red in tooth and claw, inciting mad mobs of “Anti-clean-energy” zombies around the Midwest with wild claims of health impacts, wind turbine cancer and pervasive environmental contamination from PV solar arrays. The truth is much more mundane. I give a 40-60 minute wind or solar zoning talk, answer questions and then go home. The links to two talks are here and here. Don’t be fooled by the catchy click bait title: Zoning for Utility Scale Solar: What Michigan Townships Need to Know