Feature

The deadly threat from wind energy

Every year, almost 10,000 birds die after crashing into the wind turbines at California’s Altamont Pass.

Robert BryceThe Wall Street Journal

The wind energy industry has a license to kill, said Robert Bryce. Every year, almost 10,000 birds—including golden eagles, American kestrels, burrowing owls, and other protected species—die after crashing into the wind turbines at California’s Altamont Pass. This slaughter violates two of America’s oldest wildlife protection laws: the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Eagle Protection Act. “A pernicious double standard is at work here.” Over the past two decades, the federal government has initiated hundreds of cases against oil, gas, and electricity producers for breaking wildlife laws. Yet the Obama administration has never prosecuted a wind farm. And the green movement is guilty of an even bigger hypocrisy. For years, its members have complained that too few Americans were paying attention to the science of climate change. But they’ve ignored widespread evidence that their most beloved form of clean energy is devastating wild bird populations. To save the environment, it seems, you first have to wreck it.

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