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- Blood on the blades: are thousands of dead bald eagles too high a price to pay for “clean” energy - April 14, 2022
Last week the U. S. Department of Justice released a statement announcing that they had sentenced ESI Energy for multiple violations and a “blatant disregard” of federal wildlife laws of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA). In their guilty plea, ESI admitted to the killing of at lease 150 bald and golden eagles across 50 of its wind energy facilities since 2012, nearly all died of blunt force trauma attributable to the eagle being struck by a wind turbine blade.
The so-called “clean” energy company is a subsidiary of NextEra Energy and was fined $8 million by the DOJ or about $53,300 per dead eagle for their transgressions. It turns out that the fine and sentencing was NOT because they killed many dozens of our national symbol, but rather, that they killed them without first acquiring the necessary permits that would have legalized the slaughter.
Why would ESI simply fail to do the paperwork that is regularly a part of the process for permitting of wind facilities? The answer: money, and a lot of it.
The most egregious project was located in Converse County, Wyoming known as the Cedar Springs I, II and III wind power facilities. In the spring of 2019, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) informed the company that Cedar Springs was expected to kill 44 golden eagles and 23 bald eagles over the first five years of operations and recommended that the “proposed wind facilities not be built.” Later that same year the USFS repeated their objection and recommended that, if the facility be built it should “implement seasonal curtailment during daylight hours.” Construction continued and no curtailment was employed.
According to DOJ, the company expedited construction “intended to meet, among other things, power purchase agreement commitments and qualifying deadlines for particular tax credit rates for renewable energy.” The DOJ press release further stated: “ESI and its affiliates received hundreds of millions of dollars in federal tax credits for generating electricity from wind power at facilities that it operated, knowing that multiple eagles would be killed and wounded without legal authorization.”
This $8 million settlement appears to be the cost of doing business for ESI in order for them to cash in on Big Wind green energy scam.
These eagles are much like inattentive drivers texting on their cell phones with their heads down and not looking up. The birds are looking for prey and unaware of the looming danger ahead until it is too late.
The legalized slaughter of eagles and other large birds of prey was legitimized under the Obama administration and continues today. At the time, it was estimated that nearly 600,000 birds of all types were killed by the much smaller wind footprint at that time, including 83,000 hunting birds such as hawks, falcons and eagles.
Unknown to most citizens is the fact that the FWS has established a “take limit” for wind energy companies to kill bald eagles. This would be similar to a bag-limit if you are a hunter, but don’t you dare, as you are not of the protected class and would be subject a maximum fine of $250,000 or two years of imprisonment for a felony conviction. FWS regularly imposes fines on oil companies and on electric transmission firms for inadvertent deaths of bald eagles, all the while giving its seal of approval to eagle carnage on a grand scale.
The FWS bald eagle take limits were revised February, 2022 and approved a more than four-fold increase in the legalized slaughter.
Figure 1 – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service take limits for bald eagles (revised February 8, 2022)
Those promoting the flawed idea that a complete transition from fossil fuels to an economy driven solely by wind and solar need to ask themselves “At what cost?”
This commentary was first published at Human Events April 11, 2022.