Wind Farms Killing Off Endangered Birds
Federal authorities are investigating the deaths of at least six golden eagles at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s Pine Tree Wind Project in the Tehachapi Mountains, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Tuesday.
So far, no wind-energy company has been prosecuted by federal wildlife authorities in connection with the death of birds protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. A prosecution in the Pine Tree case could cause some rethinking and redesigning of this booming alternative energy source. Facilities elsewhere also have been under scrutiny, according to a federal official familiar with the investigations.
“Wind farms have been killing birds for decades and law enforcement has done nothing about it, so this investigation is long overdue,” said Shawn Smallwood, an expert on raptor ecology and wind farms. “It’s going to ruffle wind industry feathers across the country.”
There’s been a scramble, nationally, to build wind towers both to cash in on heavy government subsidy for the industry and to comply with state-level mandates for “green” energy. Montana, as an example, has a mandate requiring that the state get a certain percentage of its energy from “renewable sources.”
And when the government mandates or subsidizes this sort of growth in an industry, there are usually bad unintended consequences. The higher rates Americans are paying for energy is one consequence. This is another.Tags: Asshats, green energy, wind farms