Resource Documents: Americas (4 items)
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Author: Power the Future
On Earth Day, President Biden pledged under the Paris Climate Agreement that the United States would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent in ten years (below 2005 levels). This goal is as preposterous as it is impractical. It’s clear that the Biden Administration is misleading the American people to impose the Green Agenda which includes stifling bureaucratic manipulation in every sector of the economy. Power The Future’s latest study, “Lights Out: How Green Mandates Are Undermining the Affordability and Reliability of Electricity,” explores the real costs and benefits of Biden’s plan.
Biden’s Climate Envoy John Kerry has himself admitted: “Almost 90 percent of all of the planet’s global emissions come from outside of U.S. borders. We could go to zero tomorrow and the problem isn’t solved.”
On this, as in little else, Kerry is right: Even assuming every signatory to the Paris Agreement (the US included, as pledged under President Obama) fulfilled its emissions commitments, the climate impact “is minuscule.” In measuring the temperature impact of every nation fulfilling every promise by 2030, the total temperature reduction would be 0.048°C (0.086°F) by 2100. Carry those assumptions out another 70 years, and Paris would reduce temperatures by just 0.17°C by 2100.
So what can we realistically expect from the types of proposals Biden is pushing? PTF looked at the results of renewable mandates in Texas, California, and New Mexico to find out.
Based on data from those states, it is clear that Biden’s pledge under the Paris Agreement sets the country on a dangerous trajectory. Green radicals will use it to push their fever dream of a 100 percent “clean” grid, powered by sources that don’t work at night or on cloudy days. These policies destroy good-paying jobs and raise energy prices. It’s time to wake up to these realities with policies that promote fuel diversity, reliability, and affordability—before it’s too late for all of us.
Download original document: “How Green Mandates Are Undermining the Affordability and Reliability of Electricity”
Author: Friends of the Columbia Gorge; Oregon Wild; and Central Oregon Landwatch
If constructed and operated, the Facility would result in adverse impacts to wildlife species, including bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) and golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos). In 2009 and/or 2010, raptor surveys detected numerous bald and golden eagles and nest sites within 1,000 to 10,000 feet of proposed wind turbine locations. …
This appeal challenges three agency Orders issued by ODOE [Oregon Department of Energy], on August 10, 2020; August 21, 2020; and September 10, 2020. …
In issuing the three challenged Orders, ODOE acted in violation of the Oregon Administrative Procedures Act and the Oregon Energy Facility Siting Act by erroneously interpreting one or more provisions of law; acting outside the range of discretion delegated to the agency by law; acting inconsistent with one or more agency rules, officially stated agency positions, and/or prior agency practices without explaining the inconsistencies; acting in violation of a statutory provision; and/or issuing agency orders not supported by substantial evidence in one or more of the following ways: [50(a)–(v)].
Pursuant to ORS 469.563, Petitioners request that this Court issue such restraining orders and/or such temporary and permanent injunctive relief as is necessary to secure compliance with applicable provisions of the Oregon Energy Facility Siting Act and its implementing regulations and/or with the terms and conditions of a site certificate.
Download original document: “Amended Petition for Judicial Review, Summit Ridge Wind Farm”
Author: Goldenberg, Shifra; Cryan, Paul; Gorresen, Paulo; and Fingersh, Lee
Abstract: Bat fatalities at wind energy facilities in North America are predominantly comprised of migratory, tree‐dependent species, but it is unclear why these bats are at higher risk. Factors influencing bat susceptibility to wind turbines might be revealed by temporal patterns in their behaviors around these dynamic landscape structures. In northern temperate zones, fatalities occur mostly from July through October, but whether this reflects seasonally variable behaviors, passage of migrants, or some combination of factors remains unknown. In this study, we examined video imagery spanning one year in the state of Colorado in the United States, to characterize patterns of seasonal and nightly variability in bat behavior at a wind turbine. We detected bats on 177 of 306 nights representing approximately 3,800 hr of video and > 2,000 discrete bat events. We observed bats approaching the turbine throughout the night across all months during which bats were observed. Two distinct seasonal peaks of bat activity occurred in July and September, representing 30% and 42% increases in discrete bat events from the preceding months June and August, respectively. Bats exhibited behaviors around the turbine that increased in both diversity and duration in July and September. The peaks in bat events were reflected in chasing and turbine approach behaviors. Many of the bat events involved multiple approaches to the turbine, including when bats were displaced through the air by moving blades. The seasonal and nightly patterns we observed were consistent with the possibility that wind turbines invoke investigative behaviors in bats in late summer and autumn coincident with migration and that bats may return and fly close to wind turbines even after experiencing potentially disruptive stimuli like moving blades. Our results point to the need for a deeper understanding of the seasonality, drivers, and characteristics of bat movement across spatial scales.
Shifra Z. Goldenberg, Conservation Ecology Center, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, Front Royal, VA; Institute for Conservation Research, San Diego Zoo Global, Escondido, CA
Paul M. Cryan, US Geological Survey (USGS), Fort Collins, CO
Paulo Marcos Gorresen, University of Hawaii at Hilo, HI; US Geological Survey Pacific Island Ecosystems Science Center, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Lee Jay Fingersh, US Department of Energy, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, National Wind Technology Center, Boulder, CO
Ecology and Evolution, 18 March 2021
Download original document: “Behavioral patterns of bats at a wind turbine confirm seasonality of fatality risk”
Relative energy production determines effect of repowering on wildlife mortality at wind energy facilities
1. Reduction in wildlife mortality is often cited as a potential advantage to repowering wind facilities, that is, replacing smaller, lower capacity, closely spaced turbines, with larger, higher capacity ones, more widely spaced. Wildlife mortality rates, however, are affected by more than just size and spacing of turbines, varying with turbine operation, seasonal and daily weather and habitat, all of which can confound our ability to accurately measure the effect of repowering on wildlife mortality rates.
2. We investigated the effect of repowering on wildlife mortality rates in a study conducted near Palm Springs, CA. We controlled for confounding effects of weather and habitat by measuring turbine-caused wildlife mortality rates over a range of turbine sizes and spacing, all within the same time period, habitat and local weather conditions. We controlled for differences in turbine operation by standardizing mortality rate per unit energy produced.
3. We found that avian and bat mortality rate was constant per unit of energy produced, across all sizes and spacings of turbines.
4. Synthesis and applications. In the context of repowering a wind facility, our results suggest that the relative amount of energy produced, rather than simply the size, spacing or nameplate capacity of the replacement turbines, determines the relative rate of mortality prior to and after repowering. Consequently, in a given location, newer turbines would be expected to be less harmful to wildlife only if they produced less energy than the older models they replace. The implications are far-reaching as 18% of US and 8% of world-wide wind power capacity will likely be considered for repowering within ~5 years.
Manuela Huso, Daniel Dalthorp, U.S. Geological Survey, Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center, Corvallis, Oregon
Tara Conkling, Todd Katzner, U.S. Geological Survey, Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center, Boise, Idaho
Heath Smith, Rogue Detection Teams, Rice, Washington
Amy Fesnock, Bureau of Land Management, California State Office, Sacramento, California
Journal of Applied Ecology. First published: 31 March 2021
Download original document: “Relative energy production determines effect of repowering on wildlife mortality at wind energy facilities”