Resource Documents: U.S. (145 items)
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Evidence of region-wide bat population decline from long-term monitoring and bayesian occupancy models with empirically informed priors
Author: Rodhouse, Thomas; et al.
Strategic conservation efforts for cryptic species, especially bats, are hindered by limited understanding of distribution and population trends. Integrating long‐term encounter surveys with multi‐season occupancy models provides a solution whereby inferences about changing occupancy probabilities and latent changes in abundance can be supported. When harnessed to a bayesian inferential paradigm, this modeling framework offers flexibility for conservation programs that need to update prior model‐based understanding about at‐risk species with new data. This scenario is exemplified by a bat monitoring program in the Pacific Northwestern United States in which results from 8 years of surveys from 2003 to 2010 require updating with new data from 2016 to 2018. The new data were collected after the arrival of bat white‐nose syndrome and expansion of wind power generation, stressors expected to cause population declines in at least two vulnerable species, little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus) and the hoary bat (Lasiurus cinereus). We used multi‐season occupancy models with empirically informed prior distributions drawn from previous occupancy results (2003–2010) to assess evidence of contemporary decline in these two species. Empirically informed priors provided the bridge across the two monitoring periods and increased precision of parameter posterior distributions, but did not alter inferences relative to use of vague priors. We found evidence of region‐wide summertime decline for the hoary bat (λ trend = 0.86 ± 0.10) since 2010, but no evidence of decline for the little brown bat (λ trend = 1.1 ± 0.10). White‐nose syndrome was documented in the region in 2016 and may not yet have caused regional impact to the little brown bat. However, our discovery of hoary bat decline is consistent with the hypothesis that the longer duration and greater geographic extent of the wind energy stressor (collision and barotrauma) have impacted the species. These hypotheses can be evaluated and updated over time within our framework of pre–post impact monitoring and modeling. Our approach provides the foundation for a strategic evidence‐based conservation system and contributes to a growing preponderance of evidence from multiple lines of inquiry that bat species are declining.
Thomas J. Rodhouse, National Park Service and Human and Ecosystem Resiliency and Sustainability Lab, Oregon State University—Cascades, Bend
Rogelio M. Rodriguez, Human and Ecosystem Resiliency and Sustainability Lab, Oregon State University—Cascades, Bend
Katharine M. Banner, Department of Mathematical Sciences, Montana State University, Bozeman
Patricia C. Ormsbee, Willamette National Forest, Springfield, Oregon
Jenny Barnett, Mid‐Columbia River National Wildlife Refuge Complex, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Burbank, Washington
Kathryn M. Irvine, Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey, Bozeman, Montana
Ecology and Evolution. 2019;00:1–11.
First published: 11 September 2019
Author: Diamond Trail Wind Energy
Purpose of Easement. The easements and grant of rents, royalties, credits and profits created by this Agreement (collectively, the “Easement”) are solely and exclusively for wind energy purposes, and not for any other purpose, and Grantee shall have the exclusive right to use the Property for wind energy purposes and to derive all profits therefrom. For purposes of this Agreement, wind energy purposes means converting wind energy into electrical energy, and collecting and transmitting the electrical energy so converted, together with any and all activities related thereto (“Development Activities”), including, without limitation, (a) determining the feasibility of wind energy conversion and other power generation on the Property, including studies of wind speed, wind direction and other meteorological data, and extracting soil samples; (b) constructing, laying down, installing, using, replacing, relocating and removing from time to time, and maintaining and operating, wind turbines, overhead and underground electrical and communications lines (“Collection/Transmission Facilities”), electric transformers, energy storage facilities, telecommunications equipment, power generation facilities to be operated in conjunction with large wind turbine installations, roads, meteorological towers and wind measurement equipment, and related facilities and equipment (collectively “Wind power Facilities”) on the Property; (c) overhanging rotors of wind turbines installed on adjacent land; (d) capturing, using, and converting unobstructed wind resources over and across the Property; (e) wind turbine operations, including electromagnetic, audio, flicker, visual, view, light, noise, vibration, air turbulence, wake, electrical, radio interference, shadow and other effects attributable to wind turbines; and (f) undertaking any other activities, whether accomplished by Grantee or a third party authorized by Grantee, that Grantee reasonably determines are necessary, useful or appropriate to accomplish any of the foregoing, including without limitation, exercising the right of ingress to and egress from Windpower Facilities (whether located on the Property, on adjacent property or elsewhere) over and across the Property by means of roads and lanes thereon if existing, or otherwise by such route or routes as Grantee may construct from time to time (“Access Rights”).
Project. The Parties acknowledge and agree that the Property, together with the other property included in the Project, will be interrelated and integrated in the operation of one or more larger wind energy conversion projects. The easements and other rights granted herein are an integral part of each Project. So long as any Windpower Facilities in a Project are in commercial operation, the Property shall be deemed to be in commercial operation, notwithstanding whether Windpower Facilities are actually installed upon the Property. Grantee may determine whether any particular group of Windpower Facilities constitutes a single Project or multiple Projects for purposes of this Agreement, and in the case of multiple Projects, which portion of the Property shall be included within each Project.
Download original document: “Agreement Regarding Easements – Diamond Trail Wind Energy”
Author: Johnson, Ben
Download original document: “Industrial wind turbines and adverse health effects: A cardiologist’s view of the data”
Author: Greenstone, Michael; McDowell, Richard; and Nath, Ishan
[Abstract] Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) are the largest and perhaps most popular climate policy in the US, having been enacted by 29 states and the District of Columbia. Using the most comprehensive panel data set ever compiled on program characteristics and key outcomes, we compare states that did and did not adopt RPS policies, exploiting the substantial differences in timing of adoption. The estimates indicate that 7 years after passage of an RPS program, the required renewable share of generation is 1.8 percentage points higher and average retail electricity prices are 1.3 cents per kWh, or 11% higher; the comparable figures for 12 years after adoption are a 4.2 percentage point increase in renewables’ share and a price increase of 2.0 cents per kWh or 17%. These cost estimates significantly exceed the marginal operational costs of renewables and likely reflect costs that renewables impose on the generation system, including those associated with their intermittency, higher transmission costs, and any stranded asset costs assigned to ratepayers. The estimated reduction in carbon emissions is imprecise, but, together with the price results, indicates that the cost per metric ton of CO₂ abated exceeds $130 in all specifications and ranges up to $460, making it least several times larger than conventional estimates of the social cost of carbon. These results do not rule out the possibility that RPS policies could dynamically reduce the cost of abatement in the future by causing improvements in renewable technology.
Energy Policy Institute, Becker Friedman Institute for Economics, University of Chicago, April 2019
Michael Greenstone, University of Chicago and National Bureau of Economic Research
Richard McDowell, Amazon
Ishan Nath, University of Chicago
Download original document: “Do Renewable Portfolio Standards Deliver?”