Feds approve wind farm developer to move on project that could kill 8 – 14 bald eagles per year

This story is absolutely amazing.

Federal officials have given a developer the green light to move ahead with a controversial wind project in southeastern Minnesota that, if approved, would be the first time a wind farm has been given permission to legally kill bald eagles.

The proposed New Era Wind Farm would build 48 turbines on about 50-square miles of land in Goodhue County, not far from the Mississippi River. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates the area is home to 418 bald eagles.

In a letter to state officials this week, the Fish and Wildlife Service said the developer could apply for a special permit that would allow the project to go ahead while acknowledging that some bald eagles might be killed.

The federal agency says at most, the proposed wind turbines might kill between 8 and 14 bald eagles per year. That’s a “worst-case scenario” number, according to Fish and Wildlife Service Field Supervisor Tony Sullins.

Readers should remember that severe federal, criminal penalties – of $5,000 in fines and up to a year in prison for a first offense – exist for average citizens who,

“take, possess, sell, purchase, barter, offer to sell, purchase or barter, transport, export or import, at any time or any manner, any bald eagle … [or any golden eagle], alive or dead, or any part, nest, or egg thereof.

So the average person can’t even “posses” an eagle feather, or stick from a bald eagle’s nest without facing severe fines or jail time. However, since this “New Era” of allowing the “incidental take” of up to 14 bald eagles per year will be caused by so-called green energy, it appears to be all OK.

As the story noted, the USFWS has given its blessings, since the loss of up to 14 eagles per year “would not damage the local … regional or national population.” So the project developer is now free to apply for a special permit that will allow the wind turbines to slice and dice our nation’s symbol.

Remember that this is the same federal government that charged seven oil companies with federal crimes involving the death of 28 migratory game birds – a few mallards, blue winged teals, gadwalls, a northern pintail, a redhead, a common golden eye, and a few others. Each charge potentially bringing penalties of six months in prison and a $15,000 fine.

This is also the same federal government that is actively waging a war on coal with ever increasing regulatory strictures and penalties.

What makes this story even harder to swallow is the fact that much of the cost associated with building and using this form of energy is being paid for with your hard-earned tax dollars.

But don’t worry kids while they shut down affordable, abundant, domestic energy production, they’re working hard on the wind farm permit, “for the environment.”

More on this story here – but this story says up to 15 eagles could be killed each year, without penalties.

24. January 2013 by Jason Hayes
Categories: Energy, Environment, Government resources | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Feds approve wind farm developer to move on project that could kill 8 – 14 bald eagles per year