It’s still a new year to me, and I have to admit that I am more than a tad confused on at least one topic. The “greenies” in the federal government are sending out the most confusing signals, so mixed up that few people, including myself, know what to think.
Here is just one of many examples.
Pay the penalty, but stay the course
PacifiCorp Energy, a subsidiary of PacifiCorp, pled guilty in federal court in Wyoming to violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act in connection with the deaths of protected birds at two of the company’s wind projects.
Specifically it admitted killing 38 golden eagles and 336 other protected birds such as hawks, larks and wrens. The company agreed to pay $2.5 million in fines and undertake measures to increase local eagle populations.
But here is where the confusion begins. The company’s penalties included the fines, restitution and “community service,” and it will be placed on five years of “probation” during which it must develop an environmental compliance plan aimed at preventing bird deaths at the company’s four commercial wind projects in Wyoming (whatever that means).
But the many hundreds of 450-foot tall wind towers, each complete with three 80-foot blades, are still standing tall where eagles and other birds can still fly into them. That is probably why part of the plea agreement requires the company to apply for an eagle take permit that provides “a framework for minimizing and mitigating the deaths of golden eagles at the wind project sites.”
Let me get this straight. This company paid a fine in part for killing eagles so now it must apply for a permit that allows it to legally kill eagles while it undertakes measures to increase local eagle populations.
Time to add insult to injury. PacifiCorp has received at least $25.5 million in state and federal subsidies. It actually received a lot more in other subsidies but those federal tax dollar amounts are kept secret from taxpayers.
Why is that, you might wonder. So, can they pay their fines out of that fund or their secret fund?
More confusion is in order. Other companies are receiving 30-year kill permits from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for eagles and other protected migratory birds that might fly into their wind towers.
Will PacifiCorp receive one of these? I don’t know because I am already too confused to understand this outrageous situation as it is. Oh well.
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