Wind farms get pass on eagle deaths

May 14, 2013 by Dina Cappiello

It's the not-so-green secret of the nation's wind-energy boom: Spinning turbines are killing thousands of federally protected birds, including eagles, each year.

Each death is a federal crime. And the Obama administration has prosecuted oil and power companies for such deaths.

But the administration has not prosecuted a single wind farm. An Associated Press investigation has found that it shields the industry from liability instead and helps keep the scope of the deaths secret.

The deaths force the Obama administration to choose between supporting and enforcing laws that could slow the industry's growth.

More than 573,000 birds are killed by the each year, according to an estimate in a scientific journal in March.

The industry says more eagles are killed by cars, and other causes.

Explore further: Fish detection system for toxins wins Chinese company invention award

Related Stories

Using fluctuating wind power

Mar 25, 2013

Incorporating wind power into existing power grids is challenging because fluctuating wind speed and direction means turbines generate power inconsistently. Coupled with customers' varying power demand, many ...

Wind turbines hazardous to birds, bats

Nov 13, 2007

Wind energy, a fast-growing sector of the U.S. energy industry, is taking a toll on nocturnal wildlife caught in the turbines, officials said.

U.S. approves huge wind farm in Wyoming

Oct 22, 2012

A proposed wind farm in southern Wyoming soon may become the largest of its kind anywhere in North America, according to U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who authorized the project Oct. 9 during a visit to Cheyenne, Wyo.

Recommended for you

Roadkill hot spots identified in California

Apr 17, 2015

An interactive map shows how California's state highway system is strewn with roadkill "hot spots," which are identified in a newly released report by the Road Ecology Center at the University of California, Da ...

Tagging and scanning for feral pigs

Apr 17, 2015

Innovative research using GPS tracking and thermal imagery is being used in an attempt to manage the destructive behaviour of feral pigs in the south-west.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.