Obama Administration About to Give "Kill As Many Eagles as You Want" Pass to Wind Farms

Posted: Dec 06, 2013 9:00 AM

The punishment for killing a golden or bald eagle in the United States comes at a hefty price. Simply having eagle feathers or parts in your possession will land you in prison with a heavy fine to pay. Felony killing of eagles comes with a fine of $250,000 and prison time. These penalties fall under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.

This law, originally passed in 1940, provides for the protection of the bald eagle and the golden eagle (as amended in 1962) by prohibiting the take, possession, sale, purchase, barter, offer to sell, purchase or barter, transport, export or import, of any bald or golden eagle, alive or dead, including any part, nest, or egg, unless allowed by permit Bald Eagle sitting in tree (16 U.S.C. 668(a); 50 CFR 22).

"Take" includes pursue, shoot, shoot at, poison, wound, kill, capture, trap, collect, molest or disturb (16 U.S.C. 668c; 50 CFR 22.3). The 1972 amendments increased civil penalties for violating provisions of the Act to a maximum fine of $5,000 or one year imprisonment with $10,000 or not more than two years in prison for a second conviction. Felony convictions carry a maximum fine of $250,000 or two years of imprisonment. The fine doubles for an organization. Rewards are provided for information leading to arrest and conviction for violation of the Act.

Wind farms in the United States kill thousands of birds, including eagles, every day. For years, the industry has escaped punishment for doing so and now, the Obama administration is getting ready to give the industry a free pass forever.

The Obama administration is moving toward finalizing a rule that would give alternative energy farms a pass for killing bald and golden eagles for decades, just weeks after it took legal action for the first time against a company for doing so.

The rule by the Interior Department extends the length of the permits that allow farms to unintentionally kill the eagles without penalty from five to 30 years, according to department records.

The rule authorizes the “non-purposeful” killing of eagles, but also will require farms to implement certain guidelines to help with eagle conservation. The White House finalized its review of the rule Thursday, The Hill reports.

An official with the Interior Department tells The Hill the department has been working for more than a year on the proposal with stakeholders.

The Obama administration, which has been a big supporter of green energy initiatives, faced backlash in August from environmental groups over the 30-year permit proposal.

Thirty years? The same so-called environmental groups supporting wind also support the slaughter of thousands of birds each year, which has a devastating impact on the eco-system.Thirty years of a free pass means millions and millions of dead birds. The wind industry is responsible for more animal deaths in one year than the oil industry has ever been. Regardless, hypocritical green activists aren't out in the streets protesting wind and the Obama administration is willing to look the other way so long as wind serves its political purposes. Only one energy company, Duke Energy, has been fined for killing eagles. The punishment came down on the company for the killing of just 14 eagles. Again, wind turbines kill thousands of birds and eagles every day.

But it isn't just birds and eagles these wind death traps are killing, they're also killing hundreds of thousands of bats every year, minimum.

In the process of creating sustainable energy, wind turbines across the United States are also taking a toll on a species that is vital to our ecosystem: bats.

More than 600,000 bats fell victim to the turbines in 2012, according to a new study. The turbines spin at up to 179 miles per hour, rising hundreds of feet into the air.

And as a another reminder, wind turbines are anything but "green" and "eco-friendly." The material needed to build turbines comes from rare earths, which can only be mined in China.

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