Recently ExxonMobil plead guilty to killing 85 birds. It paid $600,000 in fines and fees. An Oregon electric utility paid $1.4 million in fines for killing 232 eagles that had come into contact with poorly-designed power lines.
Wind energy producers, however, can kill with impunity. That’s the message of the story Windmills Are Killing Our Birds by Robert Bryce.
A July 2008 study of the wind farm at Altamont Pass, Calif., estimated that its turbines kill an average of 80 golden eagles per year. The study, funded by the Alameda County Community Development Agency, also estimated that about 10,000 birds — nearly all protected by the migratory bird act — are being whacked every year at Altamont.
Altamont’s turbines, located about 30 miles east of Oakland, Calif., kill more than 100 times as many birds as Exxon’s tanks, and they do so every year. But the Altamont Pass wind farm does not face the same threat of prosecution, even though the bird kills at Altamont have been repeatedly documented by biologists since the mid-1990s.
Political correctness gone wild? Of course.