Michael Shellenberger, Co-Chair
Michael Shellenberger is the founder and president of Environmental Progress and author of the national bestseller Apocalypse Never. Michael advises policymakers around the world on environmental issues, working with leaders in the U.S., Japan, the Philippines, the United Kingdom, and more. Michael has routinely testified before Congress on a variety of environmental issues, and his articles and research have appeared in a number of renowned academic journals and news publications.
Donna Tisdale was born and raised in Brawley, California. In 1987, Donna co-founded Backcountry Against the Dump, Inc (BAD) and has since served as its president, working to defend natural resources and rural communities from environmentally unsafe facilities and projects. Since 1992, she has also been the elected Chair of the Boulevard Community Planning Group and has held other high-ranking positions at the Protect Our Communities Foundation and the San Diego Sierra Club.
Sandra Wolfe has been a resident of Colorado since 1996 and lived on a developing ranch near Calhan, Colorado until 2017. Sandra has two Bachelor's degrees in electrical engineering and physics and has worked for two different power companies. In 2013, she witnessed the introduction of Industrial Wind Turbines (IWTs) in Calhan with the building of the Golden West Wind Energy Project (GWWEP). In 2017, Sandra, her husband, Jeff, and their surviving ranch animals were forced to move away as their doctor determined the project's IWTs to be toxic to their health. Even today, Sandra and her husband are experiencing the effects of the IWTs on their bodies and have proven their negative vasovagal response induced by the IWTs through official health studies. Through her experiences, Sandra has found that there is a stark contrast between a wind company's promises and the reality of industrial wind.
Leelia Cornell moved to the countryside in 1977 with the hopes of enjoying nature and escaping industrialization, opting for a more peaceful and quieter life. Initially, the land surrounding her home was full of numerous species of birds. Over the years, these birds have become fewer and fewer due to nearby wind turbines, solar panels, and farm chemicals. The effects she has seen on the bird populations are not only sad for her but also unhealthy for nature as it leads to an imbalance in the environment that can have dire consequences. Leelia believes that putting solar panels and wind turbines in rural areas degrades the quality of life and destroys the peace and quiet that make rural areas so special.
Thomas Glaser has lived in Henry County, Indiana nearly all his life. He started out as a union bricklayer and later acquired his own masonry construction company that he ran for 27 years. Thomas started going to planning commission and commissioner meetings in his county when the nearby county of Randolph allowed for a wind project to be built, turning the area into an industrial wasteland. Thomas has since been verbally and financially involved in preventing wind projects from being built in his county, working to elect officials who share his appreciation for his beautiful farming community and protecting the county's property values.
Joan Null is from northeast Indiana and is an example of small town grassroots activism. She has been fighting industrial wind projects for 10 years, mostly protecting people, but also protecting eagles and bats. Her county was one of the first to organize against wind turbines with the formation of Whitley County Concerned Citizens, but their message quickly spread to other parts of the state. The organization's rule for siting projects was simple: "If proper safety setbacks that protect citizens and wildlife cannot be adopted in a county, then wind farms don't fit in the county."
Lynn Plummer-Studebaker lives in Kosciusko County, Indiana where she is a long-time educator and former university director of grants. When it comes to the siting of industrial wind turbines in Indiana and across the world, she doesn’t say “Not in My Backyard”, she says, “Not in Anyone’s Backyard.” Lynn serves as an advisor to community groups opposing the siting of renewable energy projects detrimental to wildlife and people across Indiana. She has testified before Indiana legislature committees on wind energy siting issues and is a founding member of Indiana Wind Watch, a volunteer advocacy group uniting Hoosiers against the irresponsible siting of industrial wind turbines in Indiana.
Janna Swanson currently resides on a farm in NW Iowa. In 2013, the Rock Island wind energy power line threatened to take a wide swath across her farm. She joined with neighboring landowners from all across the state to defend her land and livelihood from eminent domain, forming the Preservation of Rural Iowa Alliance. After defeating the proposal,
Janna formed the Coalition for Rural Property Rights where Iowans help each other in their separate county fights against wind energy projects. The Coalition has, many times, gathered at the Iowa Capitol to speak with lawmakers.
Brad Blake is a Maine native and current President of Friends of Maine's Mountains. Brad became involved in the wind debate when he helped to organize Friends of Lincoln Lakes which was founded to oppose the 60 Mw Rollins Wind project, the first project to be approved under the "Wind Energy Law" enacted by Maine in 2007. Following this, Brad became a founding member and Chairperson of the Citizens Task Force on Wind Power, a coalition of wind opposition groups. In this role, he was a frequent spokesperson, providing testimony in opposition to every wind project and advocating for changes to the "Wind Energy Act" in the Maine Legislature.
Chris O'Neil currently resides in Maine and has served as the Policy Director at Friends of Maine’s Mountains (FMM) since its incorporation in 2009. FMM is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that organizes and provides the statewide opposition to grid scale wind energy projects in Maine. FMM was incorporated in 2009 after a new law was enacted in Maine calling for 2700 megawatts of installed wind energy over five years. FMM has led a coalition of regional opposition groups, and through public education and organizing efforts, it has successfully kept Maine's installed wind capacity to just 1100 megawatts.
Janet Christensen-Lewis lives on 320 acres of organic farmland on the Chester River in Kent County, Maryland. She currently serves as Chair of the Board of Directors for Kent Conservation and Preservation Alliance, an advocacy group dedicated to protecting prime farmland and preserving historic and natural resources on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. The organization succeeded in stopping a planned turbine installation proposed in Kent County. With the community’s support and the organization’s persistent pressure, the wind company was forced to turn the wind project into a solar energy facility. This victory emboldened and reignited the anti-wind movement in western Maryland.
Kevon Martis resides in Michigan and is a leading expert on utility scale wind development and land-use policy. He has helped pioneer innovative zoning regulations for wind development, and his efforts to combat unethical "trespass zoning" for wind development has been well received by local residents and policy makers across the US.
Norm Stephens is a retired teacher from the Caro, Michigan area who became an activist in 2017 after NextEra, a large clean energy company, sued his township. He has assisted at least a dozen communities develop strong wind ordinances that protect the health, safety, and welfare of residents. He has spoken in front of the Michigan House Energy Policy Committee and continues to assist and educate township officials and residents.
Bruce and Marie McNamara
Bruce and Marie McNamara work as organic farmers in southeastern Minnesota. They first became interested in the energy debate when the wind developer, Goodhue Wind, came to their county. Goodhue Wind and others hoped to site dozens of wind turbines in rural Goodhue County. The McNamaras were very concerned about the health, safety, and environmental impacts of the project. They founded the organization, Goodhue Wind Truth, and helped form a well-organized and persistent opposition effort against the wind project. The project was, ultimately, cancelled.
Kristi Rosenquist resides in rural SE Minnesota. She first became involved in the industrial wind debate in 2010 when Texas billionaire T. Boone Pickens proposed an industrial wind complex in Goodhue County, Minnesota. Kristi joined a group of well-informed relentless local land owners battling not just a wealthy, politically-connected wind developer, but the legislative and regulatory capture in her state. AWA Goodhue was never built, and there are no industrial scale wind turbines in Goodhue County today. Since the defeat of Goodhue Wind, Kristi has assisted citizens fighting wind in other Minnesota locations as well as education and research for citizens in other states.
Dr. Nirtana Susan Goodman
Dr. Goodman resides in Harrisburg, Missouri and has worked as a doctor, teacher, organic farmer, and artist. Dr. Goodman is currently fighting a wind project in her community, participating in the debate as an active member of the Concerned Citizens of Boone, Howard, and Cooper Counties, MO. She often speaks out against the environmental damages of nuclear energy, fracking, and pipelines, helping to educate people on the dangers of industrial wind turbines and working to keep them away from communities and wildlife.
Tony Baker was raised in Beatrice, Nebraska and is currently serving as a legislative aide for the NE state legislature. Prior to this position, Tony served 30 years in the Army, retiring as a colonel, and spent the following 10 years as a defense contractor for the US intelligence community. He was a supporter of wind energy for many years, however after visiting a wind energy plant, he witnessed the negative impacts renewables had on communities and wildlife. He has since been involved in the renewable energy debate and is dedicated to educating the public on the risks and high expense of renewable energy.
Senator Tom Brewer
Senator Brewer is a retired US Army Colonel with over 37 years of service including 2 purple hearts. He is a member of the Oglala Lakota Sioux Tribe who grew up on and near the Pine Ridge Reservation. Senator Brewer was elected in 2016 to represent the 43rd District to the Nebraska Legislature. He is the first State Senator of Native American descent to serve in Nebraska’s Unicameral. Senator Brewer currently serves as Chairman of the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee.
Tyler Rath is a student at Hastings College, dual majoring in Physics and Aerospace Engineering, with a minor in Mathematics. Tyler grew up on his family’s ranch in the Sandhills near Thedford, Nebraska, and in 2016, his family’s ranch encountered a risk of eminent domain due to a proposed high-voltage transmission line. To protect the native prairies and wildlife, Tyler co-founded Preserve the Sandhills, LLC, a grassroots 501c(3) non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the Sandhills from industrial renewable energy and transmission line development. Preserve the Sandhills and its diverse members have successfully worked to hinder the onslaught of industrial renewable energy in the area. Tyler remains determined to continue protecting and preserving the Sandhills he grew up in, so that future generations can enjoy them as he has.
Dan Schmid is a retired Air National Guard and United Airlines pilot living in rural Nebraska. Dan became acquainted with wind turbines over five years ago when a wind company, NextEra, moved into the Bohemian Alps with a MET tower and began signing leases. He and his neighbors formed an opposition group titled the Bohemian Alps Wind Watchers, defeating the plans for the wind project. Dan is passionate about protecting communities and wildlife and believes that one group can make a profound difference in ending irresponsible energy development.
Judy Bundorf has lived in Southern Nevada since 1962 and is retired from a career in engineering company management. When the desert Southwest became “ground zero” for industrial wind and solar she actively opposed the Searchlight Wind Project proposed by Duke Energy and then-Senator Harry Reid on 18,000 acres of public lands near her vacation home. She and several others successfully sued the U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to halt the project. She continues to work with conservation and historical preservation groups to protect the untouched areas of the Mojave Desert and small rural communities from industrial-scale solar and wind projects.
Kevin Emmerich lives in the Mojave Desert and has enjoyed a career in the National Park Service for 20 years in 7 different National Parks and Monuments, including Death Valley National Park. He has also worked as a field biologist for research on desert species, such as the Panamint alligator lizard, desert tortoise, and Mojave fringe-toed lizard. He and his wife, Laura Cunningham, co-founded Basin and Range Watch in 2008, which helped to successfully stop the Searchlight Wind Project and opposed numerous other poorly sited large-scale renewable energy projects.
Richard Block has spent over a decade fighting the destruction of valuable wildlife habitat by industrial wind turbines, and he has observed how they can destroy the quality of life for their human neighbors. Richard is committed to holding wind companies accountable and ensuring that proposed renewable energy projects do not cause more harm than good to the environment.
Lisa Linowes, Co-Chair
Lisa Linowes currently resides in rural New Hampshire and has been a leading figure in the wind energy debate for nearly two decades. She serves as Executive Director for the Windaction Group, a national advocacy focused on the impact and policy issues associated with industrial wind energy development. She has also held elected and volunteer positions in community planning and land negotiation.
Lori is a founder and served as the first president of New Hampshire Wind Watch (NHWW), a non-profit formed to protect New Hampshire communities from industrial wind turbines. The initial focus of NHWW was on the state’s Newfound Lake Region where three new wind projects were proposed. Under her leadership, NHWW and its members were able to stop the projects. The mission of NHWW was soon expanded statewide. Lori was instrumental in the state adopting sensible rules for the proper siting of utility scale wind turbines. She still works with the organization as an active member.
Gerald Duffy has been involved in the wind fight in upstate New York for 10 years. His town was the first to reject a wind project in the county, yet the fight continues in his area. Gerry is currently fighting 750-foot-tall wind turbines threatening to come his way.
Calvin Luther Martin, PhD
Calvin Luther Martin resides in New York and is a retired Rutgers University professor of history. He is married to fellow WECC member Nina Pierpont.
Nina Pierpont MD PhD
Nina Pierpont is the author of “ Wind Turbine Syndrome: A Report on a Natural Experiment” (2009). She is married to fellow WECC member Calvin Luther Martin.
Chris Aichholz is a resident of Seneca County, Ohio and one of the leaders of the Seneca Anti-Wind Union (SAWU). He, along with many of his neighbors, engaged in the wind debate after experiencing strong arm tactics used by industrial wind turbine (IWT) developers pushing to get their projects approved. Chris is fighting as many as six large wind projects in his area, including sPower's Seneca Wind, that would site 27 turbines within a 2-mile radius of his family’s home. He has worked with local and state elected officials in an effort to regain local control for the siting and approval of IWT Projects in Ohio. In January 2020, sPower announced their plan to relocate the project in other states with a better chance of success. This decision by sPower was a win for Chris and his neighbors, but five other projects are still pending.
Jim Feasel has lived in Seneca County, Ohio for almost seven decades; however, he was never one to get involved in the local political discussions. This changed three years ago when sPower proposed to construct Seneca Wind which, if built, would transform the rural landscape from agriculture to a heavy industrial zone. Jim has fought wind projects, like Seneca Wind, at the Ohio state capitol over 2 dozen times.
Deb Hay currently lives in Seneca County, Ohio where an IWT project is proposed. Deb is president of the not-for-profit group, Seneca County Neighbors United Inc, and she is an active member of the Seneca Antiwind Union (SAWU). These groups have been working to stop the wind projects proposed for her area.
Julie Johnson, a resident of Champaign County, Ohio, joined the fight against irresponsible wind energy development in 2006. She continues her advocacy by testifying in the state legislature, contributing to newsletters, and working as an advisor for other community-based organizations around the state. In 2000, as a Kenyon College Trustee, Julie worked to establish the Philander Chase Conservancy and later, the Kenyon Nature Preserve. In addition, Julie serves on the Board of the Garden Club of America, and has a farm supporting the Conservation Reserve Program, which aims to improve environmental conditions on farmland through wildlife, forest, and wetlands preservation and restoration.
Jeremy Kitson is a long-time educator, activist, and rural resident of Harrison Township in Van Wert County, Ohio. He is one of the founding members of Citizens for Clear Skies, an organization that advocates for equal property rights for all landowners regardless of their choice to participate in renewable energy projects. Jeremy became involved in the wind debate when Apex Clean Energy attempted to construct a 2-phase wind project that would have blanketed 7 townships in the county, affecting Jeremy's newly built dream home on his family farm. Apex was eventually defeated by Mr. Kitson and many other residents in a grass roots effort. Jeremy has continued his activism by testifying numerous times on renewable energy issues in the Ohio General Assembly.
Dennis Schreiner is a resident of Erie County, Ohio who joined the fight for Responsible Wind in 2016. Dennis is a retired Engineering Programs Supervisor and Senior Consulting Engineer from the Davis-Besse Nuclear Plant. Dennis worked in the Nuclear field for 49 years focusing on safe, reliable power plant operation, equipment reliability reporting and improvements, as well as being the senior incident and root cause evaluator at the plant and within the nuclear industry. His focus has always been associated with environmental safety. Dennis is currently fighting the Emerson Creek Wind Project which threatens the wildlife and fragile eco-systems of the lake Erie marshes and migratory flyways.
Laura Jackson is president of Save Our Allegheny Ridges (SOAR) and has been involved in the wind energy debate since 2005. In 2006, residents in Bedford, Blair, and Somerset counties formed SOAR, a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization that is active across Pennsylvania. Laura and SOAR work with citizens across PA to protect their forested mountains from industrial wind projects. To date, Laura Jackson and SOAR have saved 9 forested mountains from industrial wind.
Save Our Allegheny Ridges (SOAR)
Save Our Allegheny Ridges (SOAR) is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that works with communities in Pennsylvania to protect forested mountains from industrial wind development. SOAR was formed in 2006 by PA residents, and to date, the organization has saved 9 forested mountains from industrial wind projects. Save Our Allegheny Ridges serves as a resource for communities grappling with the complexities of industrial wind development and promotes public education of the issue. Members of SOAR donate their time and travel expenses to work with municipal officials and residents across Pennsylvania.
Gregg Hubner of Avon, SD is a retired farmer and real estate professional, and he has spent nearly ten years studying wind energy. In 2017 with the help of his son Jamin, Gregg published the book called Paradise Destroyed: The Destruction of Rural Living by the Wind Energy Scam. He has intervened in opposition to wind projects before the South Dakota PUC, and Gregg continues to fight wind energy despite losing his local battle. He now lives within an industrial wind energy facility with 100 turbines each standing 600 feet tall. The noise emissions from this project have made life difficult for Gregg and his family, and he believes that someday the health effects of living with turbine noise will be exposed.
Randy Nunns is a landowner in rural West Texas and is a board member with the Devils River Conservancy. Randy is also active with other conservation organizations in Texas.
Annette Smith is executive director of Vermonters for a Clean Environment, a grassroots organization founded to stop a proposed natural gas power plant and pipeline project in 1999. VCE sued the USDA/US Forest Service over issuance of a Special Use Permit for an industrial wind project on the finest bear habitat in Vermont, next to the George D. Aiken Wilderness area.
Photo by Caleb Kenna
Rob Danielson is an energy planner for the Town of Stark in Vernon County, Wisconsin, and he serves as Secretary of Save Our Unique Lands (S.O.U.L.) of Wisconsin. Since 2010, Rob has intervened in support of ratepayer and community interests in opposition to numerous transmission expansion proposals in Wisconsin and has assisted opposition efforts in many other states. In addition, Rob and S.O.U.L. work closely with specialists in the development of Non-Transmission Alternatives (NTA) based on accelerated end-user assets including energy efficiency, load management, solar and solar plus storage.
Jennifer Kirchhoefer is a resident of Albany County, Wyoming who joined the fight for responsible wind in 2020. Jennifer became acquainted with wind turbines only recently when a wind company, ConnectGEN, proposed to erect a 26,000 acre industrial wind project near her home. She and her neighbors formed an opposition group to try to educate the local Planning and Zoning Commission and County Commissioners of the wind industry's deceptive tactics and the health and safety dangers inflicted on residents by these projects. Jennifer has become passionate about saving the Western wildlife, character, and values of Wyoming.
Detlef Sven Birr
Detlef Sven Birr was born in northern Germany and is a veteran of the German Army, having served during the Cold War. For most of his professional life, Sven worked in European transport and shipping. Since the construction of numerous wind projects in his area, he has become a victim of infrasound. He views the numerous wind turbines as a destruction of the natural landscape, to which the animals also fall victim.
Randi Kjærstad Hagerup
Randi Kjærstad Hagerup lives on a small island called Lepsøya on the northwest coast of Norway. For the past few years, she and a friend have been working with marine plastic and have collected 30 metric tons of debris just on her island. Randi soon became involved in the energy debate when a wind project was approved to be built on the neighboring island, Haramsøya. The small project of only eight turbines has destroyed nature, endangering the area's bird sanctuary and the fjords around the island. Randi and other islanders have worked tirelessly day and night with politicians and bureaucrats to find ways to stop the devastation.
Ben Reade is an activist from the Isle of Mull, Scotland. In 2009, Scottish Power Renewables proposed the Tiree Array offshore wind farm consisting of 300 turbines (360 square km). The proposed location of these turbines is home to many avian and marine habitats, including the biggest bird of prey in the UK, the White Tailed Sea Eagle. Ben and other opposition groups worked to produce environmental impact reports, and the company eventually dropped the project. Ben continues to be passionate about protecting wildlife and communities from industrial wind energy and exposing the negative effects renewables have on the environment.