Last week President Obama declared war on coal. He’s been leading up to this for a while so it was no surprise, but he finally did it. The President sees coal as a danger to the environment and wants to replace it with other forms of energy–one of those forms being wind energy. Well, wind energy is not perfect either.
On Thursday, the U.K. Mail Online reported that as British bird watchers watched the rare white-throated needletail soar through the skies it was killed by a windmill.
The article reports:
A group of 40 enthusiasts dashed to the Hebrides to catch a glimpse of the brown, black and blue bird, which breeds in Asia and winters in Australasia.
But instead of being treated to a wildlife spectacle they were left with a horror show when it flew into a wind turbine and was killed.
John Marchant, 62, who had made the trip all the way from Norfolk, said: ‘We were absolutely over the moon to see the bird. We watched it for nearly two hours.
‘But while we were watching it suddenly got a bit close to the turbine and then the blades hit it.
‘We all rushed up to the turbine, which took about five minutes, hoping the bird had just been knocked out the sky but was okay.
‘Unfortunately it had taken a blow to the head and was stone dead.
This is not a new problem with windmills. CBS DC reported in May of this year that the Obama Administration had decided not to fine or prosecute wind energy companies when birds are killed by windmills.
The article reports:
The result is a green industry that’s allowed to do not-so-green things. It kills protected species with impunity and conceals the environmental consequences of sprawling wind farms.
More than 573,000 birds are killed by the country’s wind farms each year, including 83,000 hunting birds such as hawks, falcons and eagles, according to an estimate published in March in the peer-reviewed Wildlife Society Bulletin.
Getting precise figures is impossible because many companies aren’t required to disclose how many birds they kill. And when they do, experts say, the data can be unreliable.
The Obama administration has refused to accept that cost when the fossil-fuel industry is to blame. The BP oil company was fined $100 million for killing and harming migratory birds during the 2010 Gulf oil spill. And PacifiCorp, which operates coal plants in Wyoming, paid more than $10.5 million in 2009 for electrocuting 232 eagles along power lines and at its substations.
But PacifiCorp also operates wind farms in the state, where at least 20 eagles have been found dead in recent years, according to corporate surveys submitted to the federal government and obtained by The Associated Press. They’ve neither been fined nor prosecuted. A spokesman for PacifiCorp, which is a subsidiary of MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co. of Des Moines, Iowa, said that’s because its turbines may not be to blame.
Someday we may look back on the Obama Administration and wonder whatever happened to equal justice under the law.