The US Attorney for the state of North Dakota took seven oil and gas companies to court charging them with killing 28 migratory birds.
This is actually a story from September last, but I thought it fit well with how the Obama administration treated the praying protesters at the fence as compared to Occupy DC. How you say? Can you find me a US Attorney representing the Obama administration who have taken any companies with wind farms to court for killing birds?
I really don’t know if they have, but as of September 29, the Wall Street Journal noted – in an opinion piece – they could find no federal prosecutions where the wind industry was hauled into court for violating the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
[T]his prosecution is all the more remarkable because the wind industry each year kills not 28 birds, or even a few hundred, but some 440,000, according to estimates by the American Bird Conservancy based on Fish and Wildlife Service data. Guess how many legal actions the Obama Administration has brought against wind turbine operators under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act? As far as we can tell, it’s zero.
At the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area Northern California, some 5,000 wind turbines each year kill scores of golden and bald eagles, which are highly protected under federal law. There have been no federal prosecutions, though NextEra Energy Resources has agreed to purchase new turbines that are less likely to harm birds.
The wind industry is even seeking a formal legal waiver to shield it from the type of criminal or civil action that the oil companies now face. According to the September 13 draft of its new “Land-Based Wind Energy Guidelines,” the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service would give the wind industry “assurances” of law enforcement discretion if it adheres to certain safeguards and then inadvertently kills birds.
GOP candidate for president Newt Gingrich mentioned this legal action – with a few of the facts mixed up – on Fox News Sunday.