Tuesday, November 26, 2013

From CNS News

Wind Energy Company Pleads Guilty to Eagle Deaths in First Case of Its KindBy Dina Cappiello
A major U.S. power company has pleaded guilty to killing eagles and other birds at two Wyoming wind farms and agreed to pay $1 million as part of the first enforcement of environmental laws protecting birds against wind energy facilities. Until the settlement announced Friday with Duke Energy Corp. and its renewable energy arm, not a single wind energy company had been prosecuted for a death of an eagle or other protected bird — even though each death is a violation of federal law, unless a company has a federal permit.

Not a single wind energy facility has obtained a permit. The Charlotte, N.C.-based company pleaded guilty to killing 14 eagles and 149 other birds at its Top of the World and Campbell Hill wind farms outside Casper, Wyo. All the deaths, which included golden eagles, hawks, blackbirds, wrens and sparrows, occurred from 2009 to 2013. "Wind energy is not green if it is killing hundreds of thousands of birds," said George Fenwick, president of the American Bird Conservancy, which supports properly sited wind farms. "The unfortunate reality is that the flagrant violations of the law seen in this case are widespread."

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision last week to reduce the amount of ethanol in the nation’s fuel supply for the first time is a welcome acknowledgment that the regulation was little more than a “Soviet-style production quota,” according to Marlo Lewis, senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI).“Like all central planning schemes, there comes a point where even the commissar has to admit that it’s just not working,” Lewis said in a statement. On Nov. 15, EPA announced that it “is proposing a cellulosic biofuel volume for 2014 that is below the applicable volume specified in the [2007 Energy Independence and Security] Act,” due in part to the fact that only 20,000 gallons of cellulosic biofuels were produced last year, “in lower volumes than foreseen by statutory targets,” according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

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