Bird conservation group taking feds to court over windmill slaughter of eagles

At last! Until just now, the horrific toll on birds of gigantic wind farms has gone largely unprotested by groups which ought to have been up in arms. Perhaps cowed by the might of the warmists who insist that because windmills generate no carbon, they should be exempt from the laws protecting wildlife, in particular bald and golden eagles, until yesterday there was no legal action taken. But now, the American Bird Conservancy has announced:

A leading bird conservation organization—American Bird Conservancy (ABC)—has announced its intention to sue the Department of the Interior (DOI), charging DOI with multiple violations of federal law in connection with its December 9, 2013, final regulation that allows wind energy companies and others to obtain 30-year permits to kill eagles without prosecution by the federal government. The previous rule provided for a maximum duration of five years for each permit.

ABC sent DOI and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) an April 30, 2014, Notice of Intent to Sue that cited DOI violations of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (BGEPA) in connection with the new eagle kill rule. ABC is being represented by the Washington, D.C. public interest law firm of Meyer Glitzenstein & Crystal.

“ABC has heard from thousands of citizens from across the country who are outraged that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wants to let the wind industry legally kill our country’s iconic Bald and Golden eagles. The rule lacks a firm foundation in scientific justification and was generated without the benefit of a full assessment of its impacts on eagle populations,” said Michael Hutchins, National Coordinator of ABC's Bird Smart Wind Energy Campaign.

Unfortunately, ABC still buys into the notion that global warming is upon us (despite the lack of such warning for 17 years now), and that atmospheric carbon dioxide has something to do with climate:

As the notice to DOI states, “ABC strongly supports wind power and other renewable energy projects when those projects are located in an appropriate, wildlife-friendly manner and when the impacts on birds and other wildlife have been conscientiously considered and addressed before irreversible actions are undertaken.

Still, they are taking the principled stands that existing procedures must be followed, even when the goals of the enviro-left are at stake:

On the other hand, when decisions regarding … projects are made precipitously and without compliance with elementary legal safeguards designed to ensure that our nation’s invaluable trust resources are not placed at risk, ABC will take appropriate action to safeguard eagles and other migratory birds."

ABC is initiating legal action in order to have the rule invalidated pending full compliance with federal environmental statutes. For example, the 30-year eagle permit rule was adopted in the absence of any NEPA document or any ESA consultation regarding impacts. It is therefore a “… glaring example of an agency action that gambles recklessly with the fate of the nation’s Bald and Golden eagle populations,” the letter says.

Well, it’s a start.

Hat tip: Peter von Buol

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