Possession of an eagle feather procured from a wild raptor could result in me being heavily fined and subject to a jail sentence.
The Casper Star-Tribune reported that PacifiCorp, the parent company of Rocky Mountain Power, has been responsible for 38 dead golden eagles and killing at least 336 other protected birds with its wind turbines north of Glenrock (“PacifiCorp pleads guilty to Wyoming wind farm eagle deaths,” Jan. 6).
The same bird deaths were written off by PacifiCorp and officially reported to the press as a minor incident involving only a few birds and was nothing to be concerned about. The federal government has fined PacifiCorp $2.5 million for this act, but Wyoming wildlife advocates and ratepayers need to be assured that the fine’s impact on PacifiCorp’s balance sheet will be borne by the shareholders only.
No doubt the management of PacifiCorp will do their best to have this cost passed on to ratepayers, hidden in a expense category that will be rubber-stamped and passed on to us, the ratepayers, by our own Public Service Commission. This cost should be borne by shareholders only as has been the case with these negative outcomes of previous lawsuits or fines and not by the people who seek balance between economic development and our wildlife in Wyoming.
As noted in the recent article, PacifiCorp/Rocky Mountain Power says it is committed to enhancing protections to wildlife and insuring that their developments minimize and mitigate wildlife impacts. Yet for years, the same power company denied that their windmills caused any wildlife killings and received a healthy tax subsidy from our own Federal government in the process.
Join with me in demanding that our governor, Matt Mead, insures the Public Service Commission will speak up for the common man in Wyoming and deny any rate increase to cover these blatant acts of wildlife destruction. Only through our efforts will we be assured that PacifiCorp bears the brunt of this and its managers pay for their own errors, and that they, not ratepayers are penalized.
GUNARS HVASTKOVS, Glenrock
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