Wind Industry: Killing 200,000 birds per year is ‘most benign’

If held accountable like the oil industry, wind would be fined at least $7.3 billion annually for bird kills.

From a AWEA letter to the editor of the Elko Daily Free Press:

Regarding Thomas Mitchell’s March 22 column on wind turbines, while the fossil-fuel funded Manhattan Institute’s Robert Bryce was cited as a credible source regarding wind energy’s impacts, the fact is wind energy is one of the most benign sources of electricity production. Through work with regulators and conservationists, wind’s impact on birds and other wildlife is constantly shrinking.

The estimate of wind energy related bird losses attributed to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the column is in fact the opinion of one biologist and not an official agency statistic. The National Wind Coordinating Collaborative, a collaboration of government officials, conservationists and industry representatives, more accurately estimates, based on actual data collected from over 100 wind farms nationally, the loss to be 200,000 birds annually… [Emphasis added]

ExxonMobil paid $3.1 million for the deaths of 85 birds in 2009. On that scale, the wind industry should pay $7.3 billion annually.

From GreenHellBlog:

Bird lives worth more than military lives?
August 17, 2009
ExxonMobil pled guilty to killing about 85 protected waterfowl, hawks and owls in five states over the past five years. The birds died from exposure to the company’s natural gas well reserve pits and waste water storage facilities.

Exxon has already spent $2.5 million safeguarding its facilities and is being fined an additional $600,000 — a total of $3.1 million for 85 bird deaths. That works out to about $36,470 per bird death.

Let’s put this in some perspective.

The “death gratuity,” as the U.S. military calls it, is only $12,420 for active duty personnel, jumping up to $100,000 for combat-related deaths.

Poultry give their lives to feed us for about $2 per pound — chickens and turkey existing at a level far below their “protected” bretheren.

There’s something very wrong about a society that values some dead birds on a par with dead soldiers — not to mention a Department of Justice that actually spends time and taxpayer money prosecuting the deaths of 85 birds.

5 thoughts on “Wind Industry: Killing 200,000 birds per year is ‘most benign’”

  1. I can remember when a duck that flew into a reserve pit was only worth a $1,000. Inflation has taken over.

  2. True, but it is a trifle hypocritical of enviro’s to slam Exxon for killing birds when they are 5 orders of magnitude worse. Also having all that hard work saving Californian condors and golden eagles splattered all over the countryside is a waste of crucial and scarce environmental resources (/sarc).

  3. “Green” energy gets a pass on anything except being visible from the porch or boat deck of very wealthy people. Why should they pay their fair share of bird fines?

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