Senator Lamar Alexander made the following statement regarding the Interior Department’s announced rule revision that will extend from five to 30 years permits allowing renewable energy projects to kill or injure American bald eagles:
“By now it’s no secret this administration will go to great lengths to tilt the scales to benefit the wind industry at great cost to taxpayers, and at the cost of killing a great symbol of freedom, the American bald eagle.
“It’s appalling that after bringing the American bald eagle back from the brink of extinction, today’s Interior Department announcement grants renewable energy projects what is essentially a federal hunting licenses to kill not only American bald eagles, but also golden eagles. We need even treatment of the law for energy development, regardless of source, and this revised rule misses the mark by giving continued leniency to renewable energy projects, such as wind farms.”
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimated annual bird mortality from wind energy production to be approximately 440,000 in its fiscal year 2013 budget justification, and the figure is expected to exceed one million as more wind turbines are put in service.