Success: Wind Farms No Longer Have the Right to Kill Eagles

672px-Bald_Eagle_Head_2_(6021915997)

Target: President of American Bird Conservancy, George H. Fenwick

Goal: Congratulate a bird conservancy group for its efforts in protecting eagles that were being endangered by wind farms.

A U.S. District Court judge has ended a controversial rule that allowed wind energy facilities to kill golden and bald eagles without facing prosecution. The law had been passed some years ago after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service failed to determine the effect of the permits on the eagle’s populations, a requirement of National Environmental Policy Act. Thanks to efforts by activists around the world and a petition from ForceChange, however, wind farms will no longer be legally permitted to kill eagles.

The rule allowed wind farms to kill bald and golden eagles for up to a period of 30 years to “balance some of the environmental trade-offs” resulting from the use of green energy. The rule passed was going to increase the time that wind farms were permitted to accidentally kill these eagles from five to 30 years.

The bald eagle is a symbol of the United States as well as a federally protected bird. In fact, at one time these birds were facing extinction. After the earlier ruling, wildlife groups have been protesting the decision, with American Bird Conservancy being at the forefront, but their pleas were ignored.

A few months after the ruling, the American Bird Conservancy filed a lawsuit against the ruling. The conservancy’s argument was that even though we may be in need of renewables, there needed to be regulations to help protect endangered species. The conservancy wanted the operators of the wind turbines to be controlled and not just left to operate freely.

Wind farms have been reported to kill around 440,000 birds yearly, including iconic bald eagles, golden eagles and other protected species. This raises concerns over the balance between the production of renewable energy and the environment it is supposed to help. Scraping off the old rule is a good sign as it means renewable energy and conservation efforts will go hand in hand.

Sign the petition below to support the new policy that will see wind farms take full responsibility for causing the accidental death of birds.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear George H. Fenwick,

A U.S. District Court judge has ended a controversial rule that allowed wind energy facilities to kill golden eagles and bald eagles without any prosecution. The law had been passed some years ago to “balance some of the environmental trade-offs” resulting from the use of green energy.

The rule allowed wind farms to kill these eagles for up to a period of 30 years because the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service failed to determine the effect of the permits on the population of these eagles.

Bald eagles have been a symbol of the United States, but these birds still faced extinction at one time. Wildlife groups, including your organization, tried protesting after the initial rule, but their pleas fell on deaf ears and eagles continued to be killed.

Wind power is a crucial source of energy that can help reduce global warming. However, it was wrong to give these facilities a free pass to kill endangered birds. Rather than allowing them to operate on their will, these facilities need to be properly manned to ensure birds’ safety.

Thank you for your efforts and please continue protecting birds in the United States.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Saffron Blaze

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