NORTH BRANCH TWP. — Michelle Peel’s son has cerebral palsy and suffers from a seizure disorder. She’s worried that plans to possibly install wind turbines in her area could have a negative effect on her son’s fragile health.
Unsatisfied with answers she got at a wind energy meeting sponsored by North Branch Township on Jan. 9 that featured speakers paid by DTE Energy, Peel and other area residents wary of wind energy projects, have organized a second wind energy meeting.
“We think they came to deliver the message DTE wanted delivered,” said Peel.
The wind turbine meeting is slated for 6:30 p.m. Feb. 19 at the North Branch Wesleyan Church, 3164 N. Branch Rd.
Peel has invited officials from Sanilac, Tuscola and Huron counties which have had a great deal more experience with wind energy projects and energy companies. She noted the three counties have more than 1,000 wind turbines between them.
Her main speaker is Kevon Martis, who heads up the Interstate Informed Citizens Coalition (IICC). The IICC bills itself as a non-profit corporation dedicated to raising public awareness of the potential impacts of the construction of industrial wind turbines in the region.
Peel said he’s spoken in front of legislative bodies in both Michigan and Ohio as well as numerous local governments in both states.
Martis successfully fought off a wind farm project in Riga Township in Lenawee County where he’s a builder.
His opponents claim he’s a highly polished, fossil fuel operative with aggressive tactics.
“I’m not against my neighbors,” said Peel. “I don’t believe they would purposely hurt anyone, but corporations do not put people over profits. I want them to do what’s right and safe for anyone.”
Peel believes there’s more to the wind energy debate than what DTE Energy has offered and people should have a chance to hear it.
Insisting that “aesthetics do not play a part in this for me,” Peel said, “wind turbines could co-exist with a lessened risk and we have to mitigate the risk as much as we can.”
Noting that the meeting room at North Branch Wesleyan Church can hold up to 200 people, Peel invites residents from surrounding townships that are considering wind energy.