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By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Eagle killed at a Danish wind farm; courtesy Save the Eagles

December 15, 2016 (Washington D.C.) – Wind energy companies will be immune from prosecution for up to 30 years, even if their wind turbines kill or injure up to 4,200 bald or golden eagles, under a new rule finalized this week by the Obama administration.

The ruling flies in the face of federal laws that would otherwise result in stiff penalties for killing or injuring even a single eagle. All eagles are protected under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.  But now wind companies can evade prosecution as long as they take steps to diminish eagle losses, such as reducing risk of electrocution by retrofitting power poles.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe issued a statement indicating that the USFW is trying to balance clean energy development and the need to reduce global warming against eagle conservation goals.

Michael Hutchins with American Bird Conservancy voiced “serious concerns” about the ruling’s potential impact on eagles.  Fast-whirling wind turbine blades have been known to kill thousands of eagles at the Altamont wind farm in northern California, with deaths reported at numerous other wind facilities as well.

The new rule, which takes effect in January, does require permits issued to wind companies be reviewed every five years.  The companies will also be required to report eagle deaths.

It is unlikely that the Trump administration would undo the decision, given the anti-environmental stances of his key cabinet appointees.

Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association, has said the industry has “minimal impact” on eagles but praised the goal of the ruling, Associated Press reports.

But Jim Wiegand, a wildlife biologist with Save the Eagles International, blasted the ruling in an e-mail to ECM. 

“Both parties are in on this corrupt criminal act. I know this to be true because I heard no outrage from any of our elected officials,” Wiegand said. “And then thanks to our corrupt media, the public has no idea how little energy these worthless turbines produce. But by God they sure do deliver the profits.  Rigging like this is killing this country and the world.”

Locally, wildlife advocates have voiced serious concerns over the potential impact on golden eagles posed of Tule Wind, slated to be built soon in McCain Valley in San Diego’s East County.


Shell game

The blades are the big killers, but saying they will take steps to prevent electrocution is nothing more than a feel good, worthless, shell game. The Ocotillo wind farm has been a disaster and the recent unexplained collapse of a turbine only compounds it's dangers. NO WIND FARM in MCCAIN VALLEY! The solar farms are slaughtering birds as well. So we go "green" and at what price? What a crock.

Green is much more than a color.................................

Destroying ecosystems with wind energy developments and slaughtering off rare and endangered species is green. Making fortunes off this slaughter and bragging to the world how wonderful you are, is very green.
Creating a mountain of fraudulent research, avoiding scientific research, and rigging studies for predetermined outcomes is green.
Stealing billions from taxpayers and lying to the public with fabricated wind turbine energy outputs is green.
Rigging state Renewable Energy Standards (RPS) so turbines can be forced on the public is green.
Declaring Biomass energy renewable and giving it production tax credits is green even though landscapes are being stripped bare of vegetation and the burning produces far more pollution per kW than coal.
Subverting and buying off mainstream conservation groups is green.
Rigging court cases with handpicked judges and having cases routinely dismissed so the wind industry's fraudulent research cannot be exposed is green.
Slaughtering thousands upon thousands of eagles with wind turbines and rigging the freedom of information act so this information will never get out to the public is green.
Silencing all USFWS agents, wind energy personnel,and conservation groups receiving wind energy money with gag orders so only good things can be said about wind energy is green.
Rigging, filtering and blocking the media from disclosing the truth about wind energy is green.
Deleting truthful scientific wind energy information off the internet is green.
Hammering property values across our country with wind energy's hideous blight is green.
Rigging donations to Universities so real wind turbine impact research will not be conducted, is green.
Rigging the EIA, Department of Energy and the Interior Department with shill leaders, so more of these worthless projects can be built, is green.
Killing unlimited numbers and eagles, endangered, and other rare species while conducting a private enterprise is green.
Making new laws when the public finds out you have been rigging research and lying about wind turbine impacts is green.
Having leaders like Jerry Brown, Al Gore and President Obama lie to us about wind energy's very limited potential is green.
Having a totalitarian state that guarantees profits for corporations and insiders while demanding no accountability is green.