Wind energy is for the birds ... or is it?

Friday, May 6, 2016
Chris Woodward (

eagle near wind turbineThe same government that wants to protect the earth and animals is okay with thousands of eagles dying.

The Obama administration is revising a federal rule allowing wind-energy companies to operate high-speed turbines for up to 30 years, even if it means killing or injuring thousands of federally protected bald and golden eagles.

As explained by The Associated Press, wind companies and other power providers could kill or injure up to 4,200 bald eagles a year without penalty. That's nearly four times the current limit.

"I'm not an expert on eagle populations [but] it seems a bit incongruous that we're having what is supposed to be an environmentally beneficial energy source that is killing so many of these rare birds," says Dr. David Kreutzer, senior research fellow in energy economics and climate change for The Heritage Foundation.

Kreutzer, Dr. David (Heritage)"I'm suspicious that other energy projects wouldn't get the same favorable treatment, [as] they certainly don't get the same favorable treatment for access to capital and loan guarantees; and they don't seem to be getting the same favorable treatment when it comes to killing golden and bald eagles."

According to Fish and Wildlife Director Dan Ashe, the proposal will "provide a path forward" for maintaining eagle populations, while also spurring development of a pollution-free energy source that's intended to ease global warming.

Still, efforts are under way by the Interior Department to protect sage grouse populations, efforts that energy and mining companies say hamper production of resources. Then there's the ongoing situation involving the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), an area where government officials want no production of energy whatsoever, the concern being that it may threaten wildlife.

"If you try to say everything the government does should make sense with everything else it does, you'll go insane yourself trying to square that," says Kreutzer.

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