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PacifiCorp, wind turbines and dead birds

At first, I almost missed it. Then I noted with glee – buried on page C13 of The Oregonian – that “PacifiCorp Energy will pay $2.5 million in fines after pleading guilty … to charges related to the deaths of (more than 370) protected birds in Wyoming” (“Bird deaths,” Dec. 20) — including 38 golden eagles.

I was jarred back to reality when I realized that PacifiCorp will probably be paying this fine on the backs of its ratepayers – most likely with funds derived from federal and state subsidies. What a farce! Just last month, PacifiCorp tried to suppress this information (“Wind-energy firm sues to block release of data on bird deaths,” Nov. 19).

The operators of these grotesque, swooshing behemoths – despoiling the beauty of our landscape with inefficient machines that require redundant power sources – had been granted virtual immunity ever since the Barack Obama administration failed to enforce protections for birds at these wind energy facilities. Perhaps now that the actual numbers of their plunder have come to light, the public will wake up and see that not all that glitters is gold.

​Lee Richey

Tualatin