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Wind Turbine Effects on Birds and Bats Hearing 2

Wind Turbine Effects on Birds and Bats, among other concerns,  were debated at the  Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife and Oceans Oversight Hearing on “Gone with the Wind: Impacts of Wind Turbines on Birds and Bats”   Tuesday, May 1, 2007 10:00 AM

The following is part of the testimony of Dr. Michael Fry, Ph.D., Director, Birds and Pesticides, American Bird Conservancy of the Fish and Wild Life Service

It should be noted that Dr Fry is for wind power but stresses the importance that is being overlooked in being overly zealous; the wildlife effects.

Below is an excerpt of his testimony and you may read the rest FrytestimonyMay0107:

Unfortunately, to date, collaborative efforts to successfully address the impacts of wind projects on birds and wildlife have been a failure.

As members of this subcommittee may know, the Department of Energy formed a consensus-based collaborative in 1994, the National Wind Coordinating Collaborative (NWCC), which is comprised of representatives from the utility, wind industry,
environmental, consumer, regulatory, power marketer, agricultural, tribal, economic development, and state and federal government sectors.  The purpose of the collaborative was “to support the development of an environmentally, economically, and politically sustainable commercial market for wind power”.  The NWCC has been an active forum for discussion of environmental issues, and subcommittees of the NWCC have developed several fact sheets and methods and metrics documents in an effort to identify risks to  wildlife from wind projects, and to recommend actions that could be taken by industry to prevent, reduce, or mitigate collision mortality and habitat destruction arising from the construction and operation of wind projects within the US.

My experience with NWCC, however, has been that there has been much discussion and almost no real action on the part of the wind industry to resolve bird collision issues at wind project areas.

The wind energy industry has been constructing and operating wind projects for almost 25 years with little state and federal oversight.  They have rejected as either too costly or unproven techniques recommended by NWCC to reduce bird deaths.  The wind industry ignores the expertise of state energy staff and the knowledgeable advice of Fish and Wildlife Service employees on ways to reduce or avoid bird and wildlife impacts.

Federal and state oversight for wind energy projects has been virtually nonexistent.

Federal participation in regulation and enforcement of wind energy has been particularly conspicuous in its absence.  At Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area, more than a thousand Golden Eagles have been killed, and enforcement officials have archived carcasses for decades.  Not a single prosecution for take of eagles has been brought by federal officials, and no adequate explanation has ever been provided to explain why the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act has been ignored for so long.

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