GOP senators to DOJ: So, about those unabashedly political “bird death” prosecutions against oil-and-gas…

posted at 4:31 pm on January 30, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

The environmental lobby and many greenie activists endlessly use and abuse the Endangered Species Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and plenty of other “ecological sensitivity”-protecting laws and regulations as justifications for expanding their agenda, which includes implementing restrictive land-use policies hostile to drilling activities and punishing hydrocarbon-based industries for supposed infractions. The Obama administration has been more than obliging in filing suits against oil-and-gas companies that they claim are in violation of their favorite eco-laws, but, remarkably, the DOJ has not bothered to prosecute a single wind-energy company… despite the fact that wind energy in the United States kills thousands of protected birds every year. Odd, isn’t it?

The Obama administration has instituted a glaringly obvious double standard in enforcing these laws, taking oil-and-gas companies to the mattresses while letting their highly-beloved, well-subsidized, and much-touted wind industry completely off the hook — but at least somebody in the federal government is paying attention to this egregiously inconsistent application of the law. Via The Hill:

Sens. David Vitter (R-La.) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) asked U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder why he is “targeting” oil and gas companies by prosecuting them for the unintentional death of birds. …

Vitter pointed out that wind energy producers kill far more birds than oil and gas companies, but that all of the bird deaths have been unintended. …

“These are important matters,” Alexander said. “The rule of law is one of the fundamental characteristics of this nation and the Department of Justice is enforcing a law against oil and gas companies and not wind energy companies.” …

“Please explain the apparent targeting of oil an gas producers for violations under the MBTA,” [the letter to Eric Holder] reads. “Do you believe it is inconsistent to prosecute energy producers for the deaths of several animals among three producers at the same time the Administration condones an energy project that plans to kill between eight and fifteen bald eagles each year?”

Well, President Obama has certainly poured enough taxpayer money into the wind industry, I suppose the Obama administration is really just protecting our “investment” for us — so magnanimous of them. Talk about “prosecutorial discretion.”


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But bird deaths near wind farms are perfectly OK…

Del Dolemonte on January 30, 2013 at 4:33 PM

“Shut up,” Holder explained.

besser tot als rot on January 30, 2013 at 4:34 PM

The problem for them is that it is impossible to operate a wind farm without killing lots of birds. No remediation is possible short of complete shut down.

Steven Den Beste on January 30, 2013 at 4:35 PM

Proves that environmentalism is nothing more than an ideological tool.

They’d destroy the planet to achieve their ends … and probably will.

darwin on January 30, 2013 at 4:38 PM

According to an article in the Paper of Wreckage, Holder should prosecute kitty cats.

Patrap on January 30, 2013 at 4:41 PM

Holder:

“Sorry we are busy deleteing e-mails and evidence on the Fast and Furious gun running operation and the cover up to keep the facts on the D.E.A. paid informant at the kill site of Brian Terry, keeping the lid on the knowledge the Mexican Goverment has on the facts, and we just have no time for telling any one the truth.”

APACHEWHOKNOWS on January 30, 2013 at 4:41 PM

Very true. And, how about all those domestic cats that kill all the song birds. When is there going to Federal control of the domestic cat population?/sarc

SC.Charlie on January 30, 2013 at 4:41 PM

a bird in the hand is worth more than two in the Bush…


It’s Bush’s fault. boy was that easy.

JoeBrowns on January 30, 2013 at 4:41 PM

Holder:

“Greenpeace Hates Birds Now”

Birds cause BGW with all that wing flaping.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on January 30, 2013 at 4:42 PM

The problem for them is that it is impossible to operate a wind farm without killing lots of birds. No remediation is possible short of complete shut down.

Steven Den Beste on January 30, 2013 at 4:35 PM

Explain, then, how it is possible to build a windmill without blades? It has been done. So we are to let the greenies off the hook because Obama was stupid and invested in bladed windmills? Since Obama is so bright (and environmentally concious) why not take this route and avoid the fallout from singling out oil and gas companies while his windmills chop thousands of birds to pieces EACH YEAR.

http://news.discovery.com/tech/bladeless-wind-turbine-spares-birds-120904.htm

I guess this only proves the government is as stupid as I suspected all along….

Turtle317 on January 30, 2013 at 4:43 PM

Now now we can’t giving out negative vibs to foto’s on wind farms now can we? Wait till the really endangered whooping crains get their clock smashed with the farms? Then maybe something will be done? I doubt it. Here in S TX, the Rockport area, is a haven for those birds and there are numerous wind things all around here.
L

letget on January 30, 2013 at 4:44 PM

Vitter pointed out that wind energy producers kill far more birds than oil and gas companies, but that all of the bird deaths have been unintended. …

And the bird deaths from oil and gas are intended?

The Rogue Tomato on January 30, 2013 at 4:44 PM

What difference does it make?

Sincerely,

E. Holder, esq

/that phrase works all over, doesn’t it?

AZfederalist on January 30, 2013 at 4:46 PM

Harness birds for power and keep’em flying furiously with cats.

tomg51 on January 30, 2013 at 4:48 PM

Vitter pointed out that wind energy producers kill far more birds than oil and gas companies, but that all of the bird deaths have been unintended. …

And the bird deaths from oil and gas are intended?

The Rogue Tomato on January 30, 2013 at 4:44 PM

I think he was trying to say that none of the oil and gas deaths were intended. Since republicans don’t have the press on their side, there were no clarifying remarks or editing by the reporters such s you would get when a democrat says something awkwardly.

AZfederalist on January 30, 2013 at 4:50 PM

Harness birds for power and keep’em flying furiously with cats.

tomg51 on January 30, 2013 at 4:48 PM

No no no….

Harness CATS for power and keep’em running with BIRDS!!

Think, man… THINK!

Turtle317 on January 30, 2013 at 4:52 PM

The problem for them is that it is impossible to operate a wind farm without killing lots of birds. No remediation is possible short of complete shut down.

Steven Den Beste on January 30, 2013 at 4:35 PM

Then shut them all down!

D-fusit on January 30, 2013 at 4:52 PM

The wind farms have nothing to do with the bird deaths….everyone knows that the real killer of these protected birds are assault rifles!

search4truth on January 30, 2013 at 4:54 PM

Windfarms may deplete the soil like most farmed crops eventually do. The dead birds are considered soil enhancements and are thus considered a feature of this wonderful source of energy.

DanMan on January 30, 2013 at 4:56 PM

Bird deaths? WTF? What about dead American’s at the border and Benghazi?? Effing worthless inside the beltway elitists.

Mr. Arrogant on January 30, 2013 at 4:56 PM

blade guards

Axe on January 30, 2013 at 4:58 PM

Sens. David Vitter (R-La.) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) asked U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder why he is “targeting” oil and gas companies by prosecuting them for the unintentional death of birds. …

“Targeting” is a racist, gun culture dog-whistle code for “Republicans want to shoot Eric Holder because he’s black”.

peski on January 30, 2013 at 4:59 PM

There is gold mining in my neck of the woods. Those mines have to deal with this idiocy too. They have nets over their containment ponds and once in a while a bird will get caught in one and die. Of course more birds are killed by the cats that live in neighborhoods near the premises, but that’s different. Fines for a bird killed at the mine are astronomical.

Fines for cat kills, no matter how many, non existant.

Lily on January 30, 2013 at 5:00 PM

Vitter pointed out that wind energy producers kill far more birds than oil and gas companies, but that all of the bird deaths have been unintended. …

And the bird deaths from oil and gas are intended?

The Rogue Tomato on January 30, 2013 at 4:44 PM

No, all the deaths were unintended, but the Feds are only prosecuting the oil companies. That’s the clear illustration of the unbalanced enforcement of the law.

peski on January 30, 2013 at 5:02 PM

Vitter pointed out that wind energy producers kill far more birds than oil and gas companies, but that all of the bird deaths have been unintended. …

And the bird deaths from oil and gas are intended?

The Rogue Tomato on January 30, 2013 at 4:44 PM

Here in NH a new wind farm just went on line that was intentionally sited near one of the only nesting sites for the endangered Peregrine Falcon in the entire state.

Del Dolemonte on January 30, 2013 at 5:05 PM

Fines for a bird killed at the mine are astronomical.

Fines for cat kills, no matter how many, non existant.

Lily on January 30, 2013 at 5:00 PM

That’s speciesist…

affenhauer on January 30, 2013 at 5:08 PM

We need bird free zones NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

MES401067 on January 30, 2013 at 5:10 PM

Just what do the inquisitive Senators hope to gain by their letter to Holder?

Also, if Holder doesn’t read his E-mail, what makes them think he reads snail mail?

LetsBfrank on January 30, 2013 at 5:13 PM

That’s speciesist…

affenhauer on January 30, 2013 at 5:08 PM

Well maybe so:) but you can’t tell me that a cat is unintentionally killing birds.

I have no idea what goes on in the mind of a cat. But it seems fairly clear that what ever it is, intentionally targeting and killing birds is a major part of it.

If intentions matter, then people who own cats in reckless disregard for the well-being of innocent birds, should be taxed, fined, and probably shunned from polite society.

And if you disagree you are evil and want birds to die.
/

Lily on January 30, 2013 at 5:17 PM

“We don’t have to explain. We won!” – DOJ official

RoadRunner on January 30, 2013 at 5:18 PM

Report out today by US Fish & Wildlife Service that cats, domesticated and feral in the wild are the biggest killers of birds, small mammels (chipmunks, voles, etc.). Suprising large numbers since they collated research from other countries as well.

Bob in VA on January 30, 2013 at 5:20 PM

Fines for a bird killed at the mine are astronomical.

Fines for cat kills, no matter how many, non existant.

Lily on January 30, 2013 at 5:00 PM

That’s speciesist…

affenhauer on January 30, 2013 at 5:08 PM

I’m not comfortable with all the gatophobia on this thread. If some of you have personal problems accepting PERFECTLY LEGAL Felidae and Felidae Curious behaviors, maybe you should go back to you humanonormative caves and bang your rocks together.

Also, the Gospels never mention cats, so you can forget that excuse.

Axe on January 30, 2013 at 5:21 PM

I wonder, just how dark would the night in DC be if the oil giants just went home?

Limerick on January 30, 2013 at 5:23 PM

If he follows his usual practices, Holder will simply ignore the letter.

Socratease on January 30, 2013 at 5:26 PM

Socratease on January 30, 2013 at 5:26 PM

He was never informed about the letter or even who was in charge of letters.

Limerick on January 30, 2013 at 5:27 PM

Axe on January 30, 2013 at 5:21 PM

Really? There is no mention of cats in the Constitution either, so don’t bring out some argument about hunting, resisting tyranny, or self defense. Cats hunt with no one, defend no one, and submit to no government. Cats are mindless killing machines that don’t care at all who they kill. They go after moths, mice, snakes, birds, and laser pointer lights with equal glee.

Just how many have to die before it is enough for you people?

Lily on January 30, 2013 at 5:30 PM

Talk about “prosecutorial discretion.”

Must be another case of that liberal “nuance”.

GarandFan on January 30, 2013 at 5:34 PM

Birds are a damn nuisance – get rid of them all!

OldEnglish on January 30, 2013 at 5:35 PM

Its for the birds children

BobMbx on January 30, 2013 at 5:35 PM

When you are liberal, deaths are acceptable for the cause.

pat on January 30, 2013 at 5:35 PM

Axe on January 30, 2013 at 5:21 PM

That Readers Digest subscription is finally paying off, eh?

Gatophobia…get out….

BobMbx on January 30, 2013 at 5:39 PM

Just how many have to die before it is enough for you people?

Lily on January 30, 2013 at 5:30 PM

Disgusting.

Cats are born with an unalienable right to their claws, and only a tyrant would try to take away their ability to defend themselves.

O, by the way, stop saying “assault claws.” They are just like any other claws.

I saw a single mother trying to take care of her kittens the other day wearing a shirt that said, “I carry teeth because a dog is too heavy” — and she had it right!

ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ!!!

Axe on January 30, 2013 at 5:40 PM

Gatophobia…get out….

BobMbx on January 30, 2013 at 5:39 PM

lol — All right, damn. I had to look that up. :)

Axe on January 30, 2013 at 5:41 PM

Wind farms vs wildlife:
The shocking environmental cost of renewable energy
in The Spectator UK

Wind farms are devastating populations of rare birds and bats across the world, driving some to the point of extinction. Most environmentalists just don’t want to know. Because they’re so desperate to believe in renewable energy, they’re in a state of denial. But the evidence suggests that, this century at least, renewables pose a far greater threat to wildlife than climate change.

petefrt on January 30, 2013 at 5:50 PM

These two guys would accomplish much more if they would get a picture of some dead birds out on Fox News or some other media. Are they tone deaf or something? Who reads this stuff except news junkies like us?

PattyJ on January 30, 2013 at 6:19 PM

Gatophobia…get out….

BobMbx on January 30, 2013 at 5:39 PM

Galeophobia. :)

Solaratov on January 30, 2013 at 6:20 PM

Wind farms vs wildlife:
The shocking environmental cost of renewable energy in The Spectator UK

Wind farms are devastating populations of rare birds and bats across the world, driving some to the point of extinction. Most environmentalists just don’t want to know. Because they’re so desperate to believe in renewable energy, they’re in a state of denial. But the evidence suggests that, this century at least, renewables pose a far greater threat to wildlife than climate change.

petefrt on January 30, 2013 at 5:50 PM

Great article, and it’s written by a zoologist. His money quote:

I’ve heard it suggested that birds will soon adapt to avoid turbine blades. But your ability to learn something when you’ve been whacked on the head by an object travelling at 200 mph is limited. And besides, this comes from a complete misconception of how long it takes species to evolve. Birds have been flying, unimpeded, through the skies for millions of years. They’re hardly going to alter their habits in a few months

But it’s not just the wildlife being threatened by the renewables-saw another story (also out of the UK) just last week about how folks in Germany (where the cost of electricity has gone up 65% since renewables came in!) are now sneaking into the national forests. And cutting down the trees for heat.

Of course, they are then burning wood that has had absolutely no time to dry properly, which means they’re polluting the air even more.

Del Dolemonte on January 30, 2013 at 6:37 PM

Comments are LOL.
Hate to be serious but isn’t there one Republican smart enough to do a photo-op with a dead eagle?
Perfect opportunity to divide the Democrat base.

MHatch on January 30, 2013 at 7:03 PM

Perfect opportunity to divide the Democrat base.

MHatch on January 30, 2013 at 7:03 PM

Right, lib conservation groups are deeply split over the issue.

Conservation Groups Call for Changes at Nation’s Most Deadly Wind Power Development

petefrt on January 30, 2013 at 7:38 PM

Great article, and it’s written by a zoologist. His money quote:

I’ve heard it suggested that birds will soon adapt to avoid turbine blades. But your ability to learn something when you’ve been whacked on the head by an object travelling at 200 mph is limited. And besides, this comes from a complete misconception of how long it takes species to evolve. Birds have been flying, unimpeded, through the skies for millions of years. They’re hardly going to alter their habits in a few months

Birds’ instincts, especially those of birds of prey such as eagles, hawks, and ospreys, make them great targets for windmill kills.

In the wild, birds of prey usually select nesting sites that are high above flat, open ground, giving them a “bird’s eye view” of prey, while protecting their young from attack by terrestrial animals. The flat top of the generator box of a wind turbine, usually in an open area, looks like an ideal nesting site for a bird brain.

Wind turbines usually have vanes that keep the axis of rotation pointing upwind for maximum efficiency, with the generator box immediately downwind.

Birds of prey are relatively heavy, and need to take off upwind (just as airplanes do) to develop enough lift under their wings to avoid dropping out of the sky. If it is nesting on a generator box, it takes off straight through the plane of rotation, between the spinning blades. In high winds, wind turbines (usually with 3 blades) can spin at 40 to 60 rpm, meaning that the bird has less than half a second to jump between the blades and clear the plane of rotation. If the bird mis-times its jump by a tenth of a second, it makes its last flight straight down, possibly leaving orphans in the nest, unable to fly or feed themselves, thereby killing two or three birds in one blow.

Somebody in the Obama Administration needs to do some math. Divide the number of bird kills at oil and gas drilling sites by the heating value of the fuel produced, and divide by 0.3 for an average efficiency, to get a ratio of bird kills per megawatthour.

Then divide the number of bird kills at wind farms by the amount of electricity THEY produce.

Whichever industry has the higher bird-kill/energy ratio gets targeted under the Endangered Species Act. It’s probably not the oil industry, even if you add in the birds killed by the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

But, let’s face it, math is hard. Look how much trouble they have balancing the budget.

Steve Z on January 30, 2013 at 8:31 PM

Tigger sayses:

Try and take my clawses away Miaow…

I likeses birdses, they give me hours of funses Miaow!

Birds giveses me exercise Miaow!

Don’t deny me my freedomses to kill birdses Miaow!

Me ‘n’ da boyses in da ‘hood will clawses ur eyeses out!

Miaow Hissss Miaow

This Kitteh has rightses!

Scrumpy on January 30, 2013 at 8:43 PM

Just more proof that “the rule of law” mantra is just so much bullsh*t.

woodNfish on January 30, 2013 at 9:16 PM

“Laws are only for the people we don’t like.”

sadatoni on January 31, 2013 at 8:57 AM