Hypocrites: Obama Administration Seeking Exemption Allowing Wind Turbines To Kill Endangered Whooping Cranes

Earlier today I posted about one of the seven oil companies prosecuted by Obama-appointed, hyper-partisan US Attorney Tim Purdon over violations of the Migratory Birds Treaty Act choosing to plead guilty and pay a $12,000 fine. The fine is $1,000 per dead bird (all of which were ducks that are not considered endangered) and goes to a non-profit fund set up by the federal government through the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

That this prosecution has all the appearances of a shakedown of the oil company to line the pockets of a government-backed environmentalist fund is bad enough, but it gets worse. I’ve noted time and again that even as oil companies are facing criminal charges over as many as one dead duck wind power companies, which kill thousands of migratory birds a year, are going unprosecuted. But not only are they going unprosecuted, the Obama administration has been seeking exemptions from the law so that the wind turbines can kill endangered whooping cranes with impunity.

This month, Reuters reported that the Obama administration is working on a plan that will permit wind developers to kill endangered whooping cranes who fly in the path of the turbine blades.

The formal language of the Administration is less pointed but the impact the same.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service intends to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on a proposed application for an Incidental Take Permit (ITP) issued under Section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act).

If approved, wind developers will be permitted to ‘take’ an unspecified number of endangered species including the whooping crane. ‘Take’ under the Endangered Species Act, is defined as the injuring or killing of endangered species.

That news was from July of this year. As far as I know this EIS hasn’t been approved yet.

Just to review, if you’re an oil company and the federal government finds a dead duck on your property you’ll face criminal charges in court.

If you’re a wind power company, however, and your turbines slaughter endangered whooping cranes then the federal government will seek an exemption for you.

How can anyone believe that this sort of double standard is just? Are we not all to be treated equally under the law? How can the government decide that the law applies to one set of people but not to another?

If the standard criminal charges for one dead bird then fine. Let’s apply that legal standard to everyone and not exempt those industries that are political favorites.

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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