Legal Double Standard: Wind Energy Industry Gets Unofficial License to Kill Birds, Oil and Gas Don't
"For years, the wind energy industry has had a license to kill golden eagles and lots of other migratory birds. It's not an official license, mind you. But as the bird carcasses pile up—two more dead golden eagles were recently found at the Pine Tree wind project in Southern California's Kern County, bringing the number of eagle carcasses at that site to eight—the wind industry's unofficial license to kill wildlife is finally getting some serious scrutiny.
Some 77 organizations—led by the American Bird Conservancy, Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, Endangered Species Coalition and numerous chapters of the Audubon Society—are petitioning the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to toughen the rules for the siting, permitting and operation of large-scale wind projects.
It's about time. Over the past two decades, the federal government has prosecuted hundreds of cases against oil and gas producers and electricity producers for violating some of America's oldest wildlife-protection laws: the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and Eagle Protection Act. But the Obama administration—like the Bush administration before it—has never prosecuted the wind industry despite myriad examples of widespread, unpermitted bird kills by turbines."
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