It was interesting to read The Free Lance–Star story on the bald eagle and its population growth [“Eagle count sums up preservation success,” Jan. 25]. The College of William & Mary’s Bryan Watts listed a number of new threats. Unfortunately, Mr. Watts failed to mention a serious threat to the bald eagle—the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
Acting at the behest of the wind power industry, the Obama administration quadrupled the number of bald eagles that wind farms collectively can kill each year and avoid prosecution. Sadly, too many voices in the environmental community were silent and went along.
Under this rule, Fish & Wildlife allows 4,200 kills per year with 30-year permits. That means 126,000 bald eagles can perish in the name of clean energy over those three decades. It is a disgrace. No other energy industry would be allowed to have such a slaughter.
Just imagine the outcry if the oil and gas industry was allowed to do that. It’s even worse. While golden eagles, whose population is tenuous, are not to be killed by wind farms, they are. Oregon-based Pacific Corp was fined recently for killing 38 golden eagles and hundreds of other protected migratory birds at its wind-energy facility in Wyoming.
I hope The Free Lance–Star will editorialize on the matter. Maybe this letter will encourage University of Mary Washington students to organize candlelight vigils to protest this wildlife genocide and demand change. Rep. Rob Wittman is a big supporter of wildlife conservation, and this is an issue on which he can help. The regulation needs to be withdrawn so that the wind-power industry can come up with a plan to drastically reduce the slaughter. It’s the right thing to do.
Frank J. Jandrowitz
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