We Have Forgotten Our Priorities

Colorado’s 9 News posted a story yesterday about a proposed change in the number of permits for bald and golden eagle deaths under the Bald Eagle and Golden Eagle Protection Act. This is about wind farms.

The article reports:

“Bald eagles were taken off the endangered species list in 2007,” Bove said. “Not that many years has passed since they were taken off this list and now the federal government is proposing to take four to six thousand of these birds.”
The federal government also wants to issue these permits on a 30-year-basis instead of the current 5-year process. Bove says the whole process is not mandated as it is for companies who may kill bald or golden eagles incidentally.
“These permits are voluntary and that in effect as I believe and many groups believe is one of the main problems with this whole issue,” Bove said.

It’s time to look at wind energy realistically. The wind does not blow all the time. All wind energy needs fossil fuel energy as a back-up to keep electricity flowing 24 hours a day (something Americans expect). Wind energy is more expensive than fossil fuel energy (particularly electricity generated by natural gas, which is clean burning and plentiful in America). Without government subsidies wind energy would not be feasible. This is another example of the government choosing winners and losers, and in this case, the winners will hurt the finances of the average American rather than provide a cheaper source of energy.

The killing of the bald and golden eagles is bad enough, but the fact that it is done to reward certain companies in the name of green energy is obscene.

Environmental Disasters Don’t Matter If They Are Caused By Liberals

The liberal viewpoint on the environment has always been interesting. It is generally more about feeling good that actually accomplishing anything. I am not in favor of dirty air or dirty water, but I am in favor of common sense, and sometimes that puts me at odds with some environmentalists.

The most recent example of the environmental double standard is related to wind farms. Steven Hayward posted an article at Power Line yesterday about wind farms and eagles.

The article quotes the Associated Press:

An investigation by The Associated Press earlier this year documented the illegal killing of eagles around wind farms, the Obama administration’s reluctance to prosecute such cases and its willingness to help keep the scope of the eagle deaths secret. President Barack Obama has championed the pollution-free energy, nearly doubling America’s wind power in his first term as a way to tackle global warming. .

“This is not a program to kill eagles,” said John Anderson, the director of siting policy at the American Wind Energy Association. “This permit program is about conservation.”

This may not be a program to kill eagles, but unfortunately, that will be the result of this program.

The article continues:

There’s a basic rule of PR crisis communications: you don’t use the phrase “this is not,” because that’s a sure tip off that it is.

All of this is worth remembering the next time an offshore oil spill kills a large number of birds, which occurs about once every 20 years.  The total annual bird kill from windmills is likely orders of magnitude higher than the number of birds killed from oil spills.  There’s a reason I’ve referred to windmills as “Cuisinarts of the Sky.”

The article further reports that Congress may consider letting wind energy tax subsidies expire rather than being renewed. This would end the discussion about the eagles–wind energy cannot exist without subsides. The subsidies to wind energy are another example of the government attempting to pick winners and losers and actually only picking losers. I am not opposed to wind energy, but we need to let the marketplace decide what works and what doesn’t–not Congress and the President.

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