CBN News posted a story today which illustrates what happens when the people in charge of enforcing the law do not respect the principle of equal justice under the law. The case involves the death of two ducks in a waste pool next to an oil drill site.
As you read this story, please keep in mind the following, reported by Fox News on August 16, 2011:
Case in point: In the Bay Area, when activists in the 1980s demanded a cleaner planet, the state responded with the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area. The state-approved wind farm, built with federal tax credits, kills 4,700 birds annually, including 1,300 raptors, among them 70 golden eagles, according to biological reports generated on behalf of the owners.
…Pine Tree is one of the wind farms in Kern County and is operated by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. According to an internal DWP bird and bat mortality report for the year ending June 2010, bird fatality rates were “relatively high” at Pine Tree compared to 45 other wind facilities nationwide. The facility’s annual death rate per turbine is three times higher for golden eagles than at Altamont.
“Politics plays a huge role here,” Smallwood said. “Our leaders want this power source so they’re giving, for a time being, a pass to the wind industry. If you or I killed an eagle, we’re looking at major consequences.”
I am asking you to keep this in mind as you read this story. Bud Brigham, head of Brigham Resources, was charged with killing two ducks who died in a waste pool next to one of his drills in North Dakota.
The article at CBN News reports:
“A Justice Department appointee apparently chartered a helicopter to go search for this,” Brigham told CBN News, “and flew around to all the different well sites in western North Dakota.”
…Those in the helicopter found 28 dead birds in the waste pools of seven oil and gas companies, and the prosecutor used the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act to charge the companies with criminally killing the 28 birds.
When Congress passed the act, it was intended just to stop poachers or hunters deliberately killing migratory birds. But that didn’t stop this federal prosecutor going after Brigham and the other oil executives.
In Brigham’s case, he and his company were charged with killing two ducks.
“And for two mallards there were cash fines, but also, as CEO, I could potentially serve two consecutive six-month terms in prison,” Brigham said.
As previously mentioned, there have been no charges brought against windmill companies.
Fortunately, the judge in the case tossed it out, stating that if the government were allowed to put Mr. Brigham in jail, they could theoretically imprison a cat-owner whose cat had killed a bird.
Those people in the Justice Department and the Environmental Protection Agency who sent out the helicopters to find the birds and those in the Justice Department who prosecuted the case need to be removed from office. This sort of activity does not represent equal justice under the law–it represents the government picking winners and losers–something the Obama Administration is known for doing.