Wind Industry Corruption: US Fish & Wildlife Push to Excuse Rampant Eagle Slaughter

eagle at waterloo

The Eagle has ‘landed’ – courtesy of Waterloo’s whirling wonders…

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The wind industry and its parasites have – from the outset – pitched these things as a “planet saving, clean, green and environmentally friendly technology”; which doesn’t quite gel with the wholesale slaughter of birds and bats. Let’s call it an “inconvenient truth” (see our post here).

Were anyone caught shooting eagles or other protected species they would face prosecution.

Kill a relatively common Wedge-Tailed Eagle in Australia and you’ll face 6 months imprisonment or a $10,000 fine. As the stories in these links show – when lads with a .22 do it – there is media “shock” and “outrage” at a crime deemed worthy of serious punishment.

But the operators of wind farms face no such criminal sanction or penalty – and, instead, get to slice and dice birds and bats of all shapes and sizes with impunity (see our posts here and here).

The one thing that these things can’t be accused of is “prejudice”: they’ll slaughter anything that flies by; from bats to lowly seagulls, pelicans, majestic raptors and everything in between. The video below captures a slice of the carnage meted out on species that, once upon a time, had little to fear while cruising the firmament in pursuit of their quarry.

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As a fair indication of the pervasive reach of wind industry corruption, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are pushing to enshrine a Licence to Kill – such that their benefactors (being fellow ‘eco-travellers’, of course) can continue to slaughter anything that takes to the skies, including the Iconic Symbol of their Nation.

U.S. proposes giving wind farms 30-year permits to kill eagles
Laura Zuckerman
Reuters
4 May 2016

U.S. wildlife managers on Wednesday again proposed granting 30-year permits to wind farms that would forgive them for thousands of eagle deaths expected during that time frame from collisions of the birds with turbines, towers and electrical wires.

The proposed rule, like one struck down by a federal judge last year, would greatly extend the current five-year time frame in the permits required under U.S. law for the “incidental take” of eagles, including those killed by obstacles erected in their habitat.

Wind energy companies have pressed the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to lengthen the terms of the eagle permits, saying a five-year duration left too much uncertainty and hampered investment in the burgeoning renewable power industry.

The agency in 2013 approved a similar plan extending eagle-take permits to 30 years. But a U.S. judge overturned it last year, agreeing with conservation groups that the Fish and Wildlife Service had failed to properly assess impacts of the rule change on federally protected eagle populations.

The revised proposal cites significant expansion within many sectors of the U.S. energy industry, particularly wind energy operations in the Western states, at a time when bald eagle numbers are growing while golden eagles appear to be in decline.

Nevertheless, the Fish and Wildlife Service concluded that the U.S. population of roughly 40,000 golden eagles could endure the loss of about 2,000 birds a year without being pushed toward extinction. And the agency suggested that bald eagles, estimated to number about 143,000 nationwide, could sustain as many as 4,200 fatalities annually without endangering the species.

The new proposal, which is open for public comment through July 5, would make wind farms and other energy developers responsible for monitoring eagle deaths from collisions with facility structures.

That arrangement was decried by the American Bird Conservancy, which led the successful legal challenge against the previous eagle permit plan.

The conservancy’s Michael Hutchins said a system that relies on industry rather than government regulators to monitor and report problems fails to protect a beloved bird of prey stamped on the great seal of the United States.

The American Wind Energy Association did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The number of eagles killed each year at wind facilities is not precisely known, according to the Fish and Wildlife Service. An estimated 545 golden eagles are thought to perish annually from collisions with obstacles ranging from turbines to vehicles, the agency said.
Reuters

golden-eagle-altamont-400x300

Robert Bryce from the Manhattan Institute adds…

An Ill Wind: Open Season on Bald Eagles; Sacrificing 4,200 of the birds a year for green energy sounds fine to regulators
Wall Street Journal
Robert Bryce
15 May 2016

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the agency charged with protecting bald and golden eagles, is once again trying to make it easier for the wind industry to kill those birds.

Two weeks ago the agency opened public comment on “proposed improvements” to its eagle conservation program. It wants to extend the length of permits for accidental eagle kills from the current five years to 30 years. The changes would allow wind-energy producers to kill or injure as many as 4,200 bald eaglesevery year. That’s a lot. The agency estimates there are now about 72,434 bald eagles in the continental U.S.

Let’s hope Judge Lucy H. Koh is keeping an eye out. Last August, Ms. Koh, a federal judge in California, shot down the Fish and Wildlife Service’s previous “improvements.” In a lawsuit brought by the American Bird Conservancy, Judge Koh ruled that the agency had violated the National Environmental Policy Act by declaring that it could issue 30-year permits without first doing an environmental assessment. Now the agency has drafted an environmental review and is still pushing for the 30-year permits.

Yet as Judge Koh noted in her ruling , one of the agency’s own eagle program managers warned that 30-year permits are “inherently less protective” and “real, significant, and cumulative biological impacts will result.”

A 2013 study in the Wildlife Society Bulletin estimated that wind turbines killed about 888,000 bats and 573,000 birds (including 83,000 raptors) in 2012 alone. But wind capacity has since increased by about 24%, and it could triple by 2030 under the White House’s Clean Power Plan. “We don’t really know how many birds are being killed now by wind turbines because the wind industry doesn’t have to report the data,” says Michael Hutchins of the American Bird Conservancy. “It’s considered a trade secret.”

The new rule could further harm golden eagles, which are rarer than bald eagles and are being whacked by wind turbines in far greater numbers. Mr. Hutchins says that the lack of protection for golden eagles is “the biggest weakness of this whole rule.”

The double standard is stunning. In 2011 the Fish and Wildlife Service convinced the Justice Department to file criminal indictments against three oil companies working in North Dakota’s Bakken field for inadvertently killing six ducks and one phoebe.

Now see how the agency treats wind: In 2013 it submitted to the Federal Register that “wind developers have informed the [Department of the Interior] and the Service that 5-year permits have inhibited their ability to obtain financing, and we changed the regulations to accommodate that need.”

Nine months after being rebuked by a federal judge, America’s top wildlife protector is still bending over backward to accommodate an industry that is killing iconic wildlife while at the same time collecting huge subsidies from taxpayers. If there’s a better example of regulatory capture and crony capitalism, I can’t think of one.
Wall Street Journal

 

dead-baldeagle02

(former) American Icon meets the New ‘Green’…

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.

Comments

  1. Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    “In Spain alone, wind farms are killing between 6,000,000 and 18,000,000 birds every year…”

    https://stopthesethings.com/2013/07/27/twitchers-treated-by-turbines/

    Where’s the eco-outrage form ‘green’ groups and the ‘climate change’ activist mainstream media? There isn’t any because ‘Global Warming’ is an ideology, a religion. It was and never will be about the environment.

    Who cares about slaughtering millions of birds and bats when you’re trying to “Save The Planet”.

    Despicable hypocrisy.

  2. Peter Lester says:

    If it is happening with a US sanctioned business with US federal level funding in conjunction with megacorp internet/computer businesses then it will be forgiven. If it is happening with a foreign business and/or foreign country be prepared to pay dearly, e.g., Germany’s VW, Canadian Oil Sands and pipelines, be prepared to be tramped on big time. USA is the new Nazi world control agency.

  3. Jackie Rovensky says:

    …’left too much uncertainty and hampered investment in the burgeoning renewable power industry.’ Haven’t we heard this before in relation to this industry and in a context other than the desired approval to destroy birds and bats and anything that flies into turbine ‘air-space’.
    Will this industry never stop using this supposed ‘uncertainty’ as an excuse to get their phallic symbols of destruction installed without any restrictions.
    Will any Government or environmental body anywhere come to their senses and accept this industry is nothing more than a money making machine – the only investment the people and environment see and will ever see is the energy used by the industry to get what it wants no matter the damage it causes to the environment for all/everything that lives in it.
    When will those with the ability to stop this nightmare understand these companies and their supporters have no interest in saving the earth. All they see is their own future – living off ill gotten gains – they risk nothing, they provide nothing. They love nothing of nature they only hunger for money.

  4. Reblogged this on citizenpoweralliance.

  5. Reblogged this on Jaffer's blog.

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