Barack Obama's Interior Department has just issued a new rule that allows wind farms to kill protected birds such as bald and golden eagles for decades.
The symbol of our nation is being sacrificed to the green-energy god.
Interior issues permits allowing entities to "take" (kill) certain numbers of protected species. The new rule allows wind farms to be granted 30-year permits. The current standard is five years. How many eagles can a single windmill dice in three decades?
In its own documents supporting the rule, Interior states: "large soaring birds, specifically raptors, are especially vulnerable to colliding with wind turbines (Barrios and Rodriguez 2004, Kuvlesky et al. 2007)." It also states that it does not know how to solve that problem.
With the danger well known and any remedy unknown, a better strategy would have been to extend the permits to, say, 10 years, or to include more robust protections in the longer-term permits. Instead, Interior basically gave wind farms the green light to operate bird blenders for nearly a third of a century.
In New Hampshire, winter is setting in and snowy owls are already passing through. Peak viewing time for bald eagles along the Merrimack is coming next — if they don't fly into the state's ever-growing number of windmills first. We wonder how many will be left 30 years from now if windmills keep popping up along New Hampshire's ridgelines.