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The flap over wind farms and bird deaths  

Credit:  The Washington Post, www.washingtonpost.com 31 August 2011 ~~

Regarding the Aug. 29 news story “Wind farms’ turbines drawing static over bird kills”:

It is hardly an “extreme” position to contend, as do the American Bird Conservancy and many other wildlife advocates, that wind power companies should be compelled to comply with the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act and other longstanding laws designed to protect eagles, hawks and other species being harmed by poorly sited and operated wind power projects. Rather, the extreme position is the one being effectively advocated by the wind power industry: that the industry should receive a blanket exemption from the government’s enforcement of these laws.

The wind industry’s refrain that birds are also killed by other sources, particularly cats, is fallacious. Cats rarely, if ever, kill the eagles and other raptors increasingly threatened by turbines situated on mountain ridges. More important, that bird populations are already suffering from a plethora of effects is an additional reason to avoid additive deaths from wind turbines. Wind power may ultimately prove to be of some, albeit likely limited, value in reducing emissions of greenhouse gases. But that possibility affords no justification for the administration’s failure to enforce federal wildlife protection laws.

Eric R. Glitzenstein, Washington

The author is an environmental attorney.

Source:  The Washington Post, www.washingtonpost.com 31 August 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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