Nobody likes a double standard. Yet as you'll read below, traditional constructive American industry pays huge fines if a few birds are injured over a long period of time, yet the wind industry expects a free pass for killing hundreds of thousands of birds, including bald eagles.
Our government should judge us on what we do, not who we are, and stop playing favorites. I hope you'll find the article Paul Driessen and I currently have running in the National Journal lays the facts out well.
For nature and people too,
Should wind companies get a free pass to kill eagles?
By Craig Rucker and Paul Driessen
In 2009, the federal government fined ExxonMobil $600,000 for the unintentional deaths of 85 birds in five states during a five-year period.
Meanwhile, well over 500,000 birds and countless bats are killed annually by wind turbines, according to the US Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) and other experts. The slaughter “could easily be over 500” golden eagles a year in our western states, says Save the Eagles International biologist Jim Wiegand.
Bald eagles are also being butchered. The two species body count could soon reach 1,000-per-year.
Supposedly “eco-friendly” wind turbines are sending some of America’s most important and majestic sovereigns of our skies to the edge of extinction: eagles, hawks, falcons, owls, whooping cranes, condors, herons, egrets, snow geese, bats that protect crops by eating insects, and many more.
And yet, in the course of three decades, the government has never prosecuted or penalized a single wind turbine company for this rampant, widespread and growing eco-slaughter. Instead, it subsidizes the slaughter – to the tune of $22-per-megawatt via the wind energy production tax credit (PTC) alone, plus additional state and federal financial assistance, without which the industry would not survive.
One could accurately say wind turbines represent the only truly shovel-ready projects on the Obama Administration energy agenda – with wind project operators employing “slice, shovel and shut up” tactics to help hide the evidence of how extensive the slaughter has actually become.
With Congress preparing to vote on extending the PTC yet again, it is time to assess how worthless wind energy actually is for generating electricity – and how destructive it is of vital wildlife species.
Industrial wind energy fails every test for judging sensible, responsible, sustainable energy policies. It requires perpetual subsidies to survive. By taking tax revenues from productive sectors of the economy, to generate expensive, unreliable electricity, it kills two to four jobs for every “green” job created. Turbines harm people’s health and well-being and lower property values of nearby homes.
Big Wind requires vast land and raw materials for turbines, transmission lines and mostly natural gas-fired backup generators. Mining and processing rare earth metals for turbine magnets devastates agricultural and wildlife habitat areas and severely harms human health in China, where most of the “green” turbine manufacturing jobs are actually created. . . .
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Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death.