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White House finalizes review of permits for eagle deaths  

Credit:  By Laura Barron-Lopez | E2 Wire | The Hill | December 05, 2013 | thehill.com ~~

The White House finalized its review on Thursday of a rule that would give wind energy companies lengthy permits for wind farms that end up killing bald and golden eagles.

Hundreds of thousands of birds are killed every year after flying into large wind turbine blades, an issue that became an ongoing saga for the administration this year.

The details of the Interior Department rule are unclear since it has yet to be released, but a final decision could be coming soon.

Obama found himself caught between green groups and renewable energy companies over the summer due to the controversy surrounding the rule, which grants wind farms a 30-year pass for eagle killings – know as “takings.”

The rule also applies to oil rigs and electric lines.

An Interior Department official told The Hill it has been working “for more than a year to gather public and stakeholder input on the proposal,” which was sent to the White House Office of Management and Budget back in April.

In August, Green groups met with the White House to make the case that the 30-year permit is too long, even if the deaths are unintentional.

They argued the administration should be more diligent in reviewing the effects large wind farms have on the environment.

Late last month, Duke Energy reached a $1 million settlement with the Obama administration – a known backer of wind power – over the deaths of more than a dozen protected eagles and other birds at its wind farms.

The settlement marked the first time the administration had penalized a wind energy company for killing eagles.

Source:  By Laura Barron-Lopez | E2 Wire | The Hill | December 05, 2013 | thehill.com

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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