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U.S. wind farms are decimating eagle populations

Thursday, September 19, 2013 by: J. D. Heyes
Tags: wind farms, eagle populations, environmental impact

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(NaturalNews) There is a saying in physics that goes, "For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction." The same can be true for activist politics.

While we're a fan of so-called "green technologies" - you know, renewable energy sources and all of that - we continue to be amazed at how shortsighted and banal the knee-jerkers who drive the left-wing ideological energy policies in the U.S. can be.

Now, it seems, such policies are killing our country's national symbol.

Per The Associated Press:

Wind energy facilities have killed at least 67 golden and bald eagles in the last five years, but the figure could be much higher, according to a new scientific study by government biologists.

The research represents one of the first tallies of eagle deaths attributed to the nation's growing wind energy industry, which has been a pillar of President Obama's plans to reduce the pollution blamed for global warming. Wind power releases no air pollution.

No - but it kills in other ways.

'An alarming and concerning finding'

The scientists wrote that, at a minimum, wind farms in 10 states have killed at least 85 eagles since 1997. Most of those deaths came between 2008 and 2012, AP said, citing the research - a period that coincides with the most rapid expansion of the wind-energy industry.

Most of the deaths - 79 - were golden eagles that were killed when they struck wind turbines. And one eagle that was counted in the study was electrocuted by a power line.

Mike Parr, vice president of the American Bird Conservancy, told AP that the number of eagles killed so far is "an alarming and concerning finding."

In a statement, the American Wind Energy Association said the death-by-wind-turbine figure was much lower than other causes of death for eagles, but that the group was nonetheless working with government and conservations groups to find ways to reduce the casualties.

More from the AP:

Still, the scientists said their figure is likely to be "substantially" underestimated, since companies report eagle deaths voluntarily and only a fraction of those included in their total were discovered during searches for dead birds by wind-energy companies. The study also excluded the deadliest place in the country for eagles, a cluster of wind farms in a northern California area known as Altamont Pass. Wind farms built there decades ago kill more than 60 per year.

Turbine blades in violation of federal law

"It is not an isolated event that is restricted to one place in California, it is pretty widespread," Brian Millsap, the national raptor coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and one of the authors of the study, told the newswire service.

Seventeen eagle deaths were excluded from the study over a lack of evidence. Also, as an aside, the study noted that more golden and bald eagles have been killed at wind and energy facilities in three more states: Idaho, Montana and Nevada.

The authors of the study were unclear as to what impact the deaths are having on local eagle populations. But thus far, the golden eagle population in the West is at least stable, officials noted.

"The research affirms an AP investigation in May, which revealed dozens of eagle deaths from wind energy facilities and described how the Obama administration was failing to fine or prosecute wind energy companies, even though each death is a violation of federal law," the news service reported. "Documents obtained by the AP under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act show that in two cases in Iowa federal investigators determined that a bald eagle had been killed by blunt force trauma with a wind turbine blade. But neither case led to prosecution."

For the record, there's been no word on just how wind energy companies are supposed to ensure their turbine blades don't kill eagles.




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