More on wind’s impact on endangered bird species

Following on previous reports, here’s another article reviewing the heavy toll the wind industry is taking on endangered raptors like bald and golden eagles and the California condor. While the fossil fuel industry is prosecuted and heavily fined for impacts on any bird species, government agencies appear to just look the other way when favored “green” energy producers kill tens of thousands of raptors and hundreds of thousands of other birds each year.

One eagle was found lying lifeless with a hole in its neck that exposed the bone. Another was found starving and near death with limbs that appeared to be twisted off. Struck down by wind turbines, these eagles were victims of a federal crime. The government prosecutes individuals and companies that kill birds in violation of federal law, yet a recent Associated Press investigation revealed that the Obama administration has never taken legal action against a wind energy company for killing birds, even though wind turbines kill more than 573,000 birds annually. …

The AP’s bird exposé comes after federal officials told California wind farm operator Terra-Gen Power on May 10 that the company will not be prosecuted for killing endangered condors. Its wind farm, which is located in the Tehachapi Mountains, just north of Los Angeles, is expected to have a 30-year lifespan. This is the first time the federal government has allowed a company to “take” (injure or kill) a California condor, one of the most endangered bird species in the world.

Aside: Of course we shouldn’t forget that stories of 30-year lifespans for wind farms may be a teensy bit overstated as reports are showing their actual lifespans are as much as 45% shorter than investors were originally promised.

22. May 2013 by Jason Hayes
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