What's an environmental whacko to do? On the one hand, you've got the "promise" of energy from wind turbines - a dubious claim but we're not talking about wholly rational people here. On the other hand, you have eagles flying into the turbines and getting killed because...well, they're birds, they fly, and they're too stupid to look where they're going.
But what's a few Bald Eagles when the mandate is to make wind power commercially viable?
Wildlife conservationists are battling an Obama administration rule that would give wind energy companies lengthy permits for wind farms that end up killing bald and golden eagles.
Hundreds of thousands of birds are killed every year after they fly into gigantic wind turbine blades.
It's unclear how many of them are eagles, but wildlife groups say that birds of prey on the lookout for food often ignore the blades.
Existing permits allow green energy companies to put up wind farms as long as the Fish and Wildlife Service declares they use "advanced conservation practices" to protect birds. The Obama administration is considering a rule that would extend the permits from five to 30 years.
Wildlife groups met with White House officials in July and pressed them to not sign off on the rules, which the green energy industry has lobbied for furiously.
Green energy groups have also met with the White House in recent weeks to press their case.
A decision could be coming soon. The White House received the rule from the Fish and Wildlife Service in April, for what was supposed to be a 90-day review. Wildlife groups say the 30-year permit is far too long, even if the deaths to eagles are unintentional.
They argue the administration should give a more comprehensive review of the effects massive wind farms have on the environment, including birds and other wildlife. Science on how to prevent eagle deaths and injuries has not been conclusive, the groups say, so the government should not give wind farms a 30-year pass for eagle killings - known as "takings."
"The question is what is the science telling us about how to prevent eagle takings, and we're still waiting for the science to tell us how that works," said Julie Falkner, the Defenders of Wildlife's senior director of renewable energy programs.
So they refer to eagles having been killed by flying into the blades of the turbine a "taking"? Dead is dead, and the capacity for doublespeak of liberal environmentalists constantly amazes.
Like "clean burning coal," the technology doesn't exist to keep birds of all kinds from becoming hamburger when they get too close to a wind farm. Frankly, I think these monuments to delusional thinking are eyesores. They are unsightly efforts to repeal the laws of economics. The idea that wind energy can become commercially viable is steeped in wishful thinking, not rational analysis. And susbidizing this boondoggle is a waste of taxpayer money.
Save the birds. Nix the wind farms.