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: Using fluctuating wind power

Related Stories

Using fluctuating wind power

March 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-farm managers ...

Wind turbines hazardous to birds, bats

November 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

October 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

Cracking the genetic code for complex traits in cattle

February 20, 2018

A massive global study involving 58,000 cattle has pinpointed the genes that influence the complex genetic trait of height in cattle, opening the door for researchers to use the same approach to map high-value traits including ...

Duplicate genes help animals resolve sexual conflict

February 19, 2018

Duplicate copies of a gene shared by male and female fruit flies have evolved to resolve competing demands between the sexes. New genetic analysis by researchers at the University of Chicago describes how these copies have ...

0 comments

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.