By Jim Wiegand — March 2, 2022
“Where are the true environmentalists in this debate? Sierra Club …. Natural Resources Defense Council? The bird groups are even suing on aviation mortality issues.”
America’s green energy push has been going on for decades. It never sleeps. And it is both anti-environmental and corrupt.
I have been writing about industrial wind’s “avian mortality” problem in California for years (see here and here). Particular carnage has been documented by the California Energy Commission at Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area. It has gotten so bad that the National Audubon Society recently filed suit against a proposed 80 MW wind facility there.
With biased research and imaginary population estimates, Big Wind wants to increase its bald eagle “take” in America. The previous limit set in 2016 was 4,200 bald eagles annually; Biden’s Department of Interior proposes to almost quadruple this to 15,832.
Interior states in its recent Federal Register notice:
Although some of the increase in the estimates of population size from 2009 to 2019 can be attributed to improvements in methods, the majority of the increase is likely due to population growth, estimated to be around 10 percent per year.
Improvements in “methods” really means continue to ignore real world conditions like bald eagle habitat abandonment near wind farms. It is all to keep an inferior, crony electricity source in play, one that true ecologists should have rejected at the beginning.
The population of Alaska’s bald eagles near 30,000 is by far the most of any state. Subtract that number from 316,708 and we are supposed to believe that, on average, each of the lower-48 has a population of 5,971 bald eagles. But in California, the bald eagle population is more like one-third this number.
Here in Shasta County, CA we have the highest density of bald eagles in the state. The total population, including juveniles, is about 150.
The Federal Register says there are take permits that allow 490 bald eagles to be killed annually. Yet this industry, in collusion with the Interior Department, secretly ships thousands of eagles every year to the Denver Eagle Repository. These Take permits are a complete fraud on the public.
The population numbers were set in backroom negotiations. Then Interior Department studies were rigged to produce data that would fit into a green narrative. We supposedly now have about 317,000 bald eagles. Not true. The same entities also produced a study that overestimated a golden eagle population in CA by ten-fold or more.
This is not a Joe Biden problem. This is a Washington, DC problem with both Republicans and Democrats responsible. The Federal Register says we have until March 4th to post comments. I’ve been posting factual scientific comments for years, and this eagle-killing industry just keeps on growing.
The wind industry spins bad news into something positive. A close reading of the article below reveals the problem of “the Cuisinarts of the Air” (as coined by the Los Angeles Sierra Club) that Big Wind is in the middle of.
Wind Power Developers Encouraged by Findings on Bald Eagle Population
In the race to generate and distribute renewable energy, developers must clear numerous regulatory hurdles. For many projects, this may include obtaining a voluntary “incidental take” permit under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (BGEPA).
The BGEPA incidental take permitting program has frustrated both developers and operators due to, among other things, uncertainty of costs, timing, and outcomes. Recently, developers choosing to obtain an eagle “incidental take permit” for activities such as wind energy development received some good news—the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) increased its bald eagle population estimates, which should create opportunities for additional wind development, or at least reduced regulation, in areas now deemed to have more bald eagles.
Under FWS’s current legal interpretation—which many legal minds reasonably dispute—BGEPA generally prohibits both intentional and incidental “take” (e.g., the injuring or killing) of bald and golden eagles. According to FWS, take is incidental when it is associated with, but not the purpose of, an activity (i.e., when take is accidental).
Despite these general prohibitions, BGPEA allows businesses to obtain incidental take permits that shield them from liability when they comply with the terms of those permits. These permits may be important for developers to obtain, particularly if projects are sited on federal land or financial backers require these permits as insurance against governmental enforcement demands.