Study: Feds underestimating the number of protected bird deaths at all the wind farms they aren’t prosecuting
posted at 9:31 pm on July 23, 2013 by Erika Johnsen
The federal government has made it their especial business, not merely to restrict recreational and productive commercial access in many areas of the full one-third of the surface area of the United States it controls — often on the proclaimed behalf of the Spotted Owl, the Sage Grouse, the Golden Eagle, etcetera — but also to aggressively pursue and prosecute any hydrocarbon companies that they discover have been responsible for killing any protected birds via their industrial activities.
Miraculously, however, the Obama administration has so far neglected to prosecute nor level the heavy related fines against any wind-energy companies, despite the mass deaths of birds protected by the Eagle Protection and Migratory Bird Treaty Acts that they often cause. Even better, the Daily Caller reports on a study that confirms that the feds have been conspicuously underestimating the number of bird deaths resulting from these swept-under-the-rug wind-turbine collisions:
In fact, bird deaths were found to be 30 percent higher than previous estimates given by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2009.
“I estimated 888,000 bat and 573,000 bird fatalities/year (including 83,000 raptor fatalities) at 51,630 megawatt (MW) of installed wind-energy capacity in the United States in 2012,” writes K. Shawn Smallwood, author of the study that was published in the Wildlife Society Bulletin.
“As wind energy continues to expand, there is urgent need to improve fatality monitoring methods, especially in the implementation of detection trials, which should be more realistically incorporated into routine monitoring,” Smallwood added.
Wind turbines have been a dividing issue among environmental groups, as different priorities are placed on promoting renewable energy to curb global warming versus saving wildlife.
“It is the rationale that we have to get off of carbon, we have to get off of fossil fuels, that allows them to justify this,” said Tom Dougherty, a former National Wildlife Federation employee. “But at what cost? In this case, the cost is too high.”
So not only is the federal government selectively prosecuting certain favored energy industries when it comes to bird deaths, but they are also making it their current business to subsidize, promote, and build the wind farms that are actually killing a lot more wildlife than even they thought. Hypocrisy, much?
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