(NewsBroadcast.com) – The move to take fossil fuel-burning electric generation plants and replace them with “green” sources like wind and solar farms is laudable, but as with almost anything, solving one problem can lead to others. For instance, large-scale wind farms using air currents to power windmills can kill birds that happen to fly into the large blades.
ESI Energy, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy, recently faced criminal charges brought by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and pleaded guilty to three counts of violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) of 1918. The complaint arose from the fact that at least 150 bald and golden eagles were killed at its wind farms in 8 different states.
Wind Energy Company Fined $8 Million For Killing 150 Eagles https://t.co/wFplZFyGhs
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) April 7, 2022
The company was sentenced to a $1,861,600 fine, restitution payments of $6,210,991, and 5 years of probation, during which time they must implement a plan to reduce eagle deaths and pay the fine of $29,623 per bird killed. Other countries that have signed the MBTA include Canada, Mexico, Japan, and Russia, with a stated goal of “[ensuring] the sustainability of the populations of all protected migratory bird species.”
A part of the reason the DOJ pursued this matter was that ESI chose not to apply for permits to legally allow the killing of migratory birds within the law, unlike other major wind farms. This, they contended, gives them an unfair advantage over their competitors.
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