National Wind Watch welcomes GAO study report, challenges wind industry on wildlife impacts
September 27, 2005 -- National Wind Watch, a coalition of citizen groups and individuals, welcomes the release of a congressional investigative report underscoring the need to reassess regulation of the wind industry, noting that the impacts of these massive wind facilities on wildlife are as yet unknown.
In its report, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) states, "much work remains before scientists have a clear understanding of the true impacts to wildlife from wind power," adding that "concerns are compounded by the fact that the regulation of wind power varies from location-to-location and some state and local regulatory agencies we reviewed generally had little experience or expertise in addressing the environmental and wildlife impacts from wind power." The report goes on to state that when wind power facilities are permitted, "no one is considering the impacts of wind power on a regional or 'ecoscale' scale -- a scale that often spans governmental jurisdictions."
Congressman Mollohan (D-WV), who called for the study together with Congressman Rahall (D-WV), said the GAO study found there were "significant gaps in the research on how these facilities impact wildlife. We don't have enough information about the number of birds and bats that are being killed, why they are being killed, or whether any effective strategies can be devised for keeping wildlife away from the blades"
National Wind Watch president, David Roberson, approved of the fact that the federal government had finally taken notice that massive wind facilities are not eco-friendly. He added, "The lack of scientific data on the potential damaging impacts to wildlife and our sensitive land areas must be addressed, especially when one considers how much of this industrial development is subsidized by state and federal tax dollars."
Mr. Roberson noted that the American Wind Energy Association chose to highlight only select sections of the investigative report that, taken out of context, diminished the findings of the report. "National Wind Watch challenges the wind industry to do the right thing by openly acknowledging the potential risks of wind turbines on our ridgelines, shores, and prairies." he said.
National Wind Watch® is a nonprofit corporation established in 2005 by campaigners from around the U.S. to promote knowledge and raise awareness of the negative environmental and social impacts of industrial wind energy development. Information, analysis, and other materials are available on its web site: https://www.wind-watch.org.
National Wind Watch, Inc., 63 West Hill Road, MA 01339