Wind Farms Get 'Federal Hunting License" for Eagles
Bridget Johnson reports for Pajamas Media that a "rule change" from the U.S. Department of the Interior will "let wind farms kill eagles." Here's the lede from her story:
"The Interior Department issued a rule change to allow renewable energy producers lengthier permit periods under which they can “take” — kill, injure or disturb — bald and golden eagle populations.
"Wind-energy producers used to be able to get five-year permits from the federal government that allowed the “taking” of these all-American birds during the course of production activities. Now, they’ll be able to get a permit good for up to 30 years.
"Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) called the news “appalling.”
“By now it’s no secret this administration will go to great lengths to tilt the scales to benefit the wind industry at great cost to taxpayers, and at the cost of killing a great symbol of freedom,” Alexander said.
"Interior began its permitting program in 2009 under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, which authorizes the “programmatic take” of eagles, according to the department, “associated with, but not the purpose of, an otherwise lawful activity and does not have a long-term impact on the population.”
"Interior said the five-year permit “does not reflect the actual operating parameters of most renewable energy projects or other similar long-term project operations,” and the 30-year permit has a review built in every five years. That review would include determining that a wind producer hasn’t exceeded its limits in the number of eagles they’re allowed to “take.” The government claims that the five-year reports of eagle deaths will increase transparency and accountability in the industry."
Stephen Dinan, at the Washington Times on Friday, December 6, 2013, points out, "Killing bald or golden eagles is generally prohibited by federal law, but gives the government the power to grant exemptions."
At the American Thinker, Rick Moran quotes from The Hill and opines:
"The political imperative represented by "renewable" energy trumps the envronmental necessity of protecting eagle species from getting chopped up by these turbines. There is no trade off here. The paltry amount of energy produced by wind farms does not begin to justify the mass killings of these rare and beautiful bird.
"This is politics at its cynical worst."
Besides, as Wikipedia points out, the Bald Eagle, especially, has cultural significance, not to mention that it is the national bird of the United States.
Well said, Mr. Moran!. And thanks to Bridget Johnson and Stephen Dinan for reporting on the needless slaughter of these grand birds.