A Free-Market Energy Blog

ABC’s ‘Victory’ over FWS & Big Wind: Much More Must Be Done

By Jim Wiegand -- August 27, 2015

“For this case the Fish & Wildlife Service stated that the rapidly expanding wind industry will ‘not affect endangered or threatened species or designated critical habitat.’ This is a complete fabrication or is delusional at best.”

On August 11, 2015, a decision was handed down in a Federal Court setting aside the 30-year Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) killing permits. The suit to stop these permits was filed on behalf of three parties all connected to the conservation group American Bird Conservancy (ABC). The defendants in this case were none other than the FWS and representatives of the wind industry.

In the aftermath of this decision ABC is claiming a major victory for our eagles. Though it is a comfort to know that the corrupt wind energy bullies had their 30 permits set aside, there is no comfort in knowing that this ruling will not stop the wind industry’s hidden slaughter of eagles.

The wind turbine eagle slaughter will continue because this industry was previously handed 5 year eagle killing permits by their FWS accomplices and the validity of all wind energy related incidental take permits was not challenged by ABC. The killing can also continue because this decision did not address the lack of ethical accountability or require any mortality thresholds for the wind industry.

Nothing has changed. This industry is still slaughtering off our eagles as they have for decades without permits. And when it comes right down to it, they do not even need them because the laws designed to protect America’s eagles have selective FWS enforcement.

Being an expert on the wind industry’s fabricated research and a wildlife biologist, I have been trying to educate the public about the devastating impacts from wind energy developments. I have submitted easy to understand proof of this hidden calamity in many articles and have submitted lengthy comments to the Interior Department.

My 9/22/2014 submission to the Interior Department against the 30-year killing permits contained 24,338 words and this submission had proof pertaining to the wind industry’s rigged mortality research. A clear pattern of bogus research designed to hide the slaughter of eagles and millions of fatalities was shown. In November of 2014 more evidence in a 2-part article was presented to the public pertaining to the unreported thousands of wind energy related eagle fatalities that have been sent to the Denver Eagle Repository.

ABC could have submitted any of this previous evidence and made a motion to present any new evidence. ABC could have also contacted me for advice and presented a wind industry “smoking gun” in my possession related to this industry’s fake research.

Judge Koh never saw any of this damaging evidence that could have finally exposed in a courtroom the massive ongoing turbine slaughter taking place to millions upon millions of supposedly protected birds and bats. This evidence is so damaging that there would be no way for the FWS or any of wind industry’s fake experts to weasel out of it.

Did ABC Fall Short?

Why ABC, an organization trying to help our eagles, did not use any of it, is disappointing, even disturbing.

Instead, for this case, a short 321-word submission I had written on behalf of Save the Eagles International in 2012 was submitted. This submission while true did not nearly address the concerns or represent the interests of Save the Eagles International. It was just used to appear that way and it happened to be a statement that could be explained away in a court decision.

This is the comment from the ruling below made by Lucy H. Koh United States District Judge, in reference to my (Save the Eagles International) comments.

Lastly, page 7727, from Save the Eagles International’s public comment, asserts that wind turbines have had “an even worse impact of [sic] the Whooping Crane and Condor.” AR 7727. This comment, however, provides no support, scientific or otherwise, for its assertion. Nor does it make any.

For this case the FWS stated that the rapidly expanding wind industry will “not affect endangered or threatened species or designated critical habitat.” This is a complete fabrication or is delusional at best. All one has to do is look at what the wind turbine infestation has done to destroy California condor habitat by filling their historical air space with blade tips slashing through millions of cubic feet at 200 mph. Then one must consider the behavior modifications forced upon this species having to live with permanent feeding stations and wandering condors being trapped to keep them away from these deadly turbines.

The opinion of United States District Judge Lucy H. Koh was greatly impacted because a judge will only consider the evidence presented in a case. I consider the ABC lawsuit to be no different than an oncologist processing the cure for cancer and then treating their patient with a placebo.

What’s Hidden?

The industry’s turbine mortality numbers are fabricated. The fatality to millions of protected birds and bats from wind turbines is being hidden from the public. The turbine fatalities pertaining to special status species like our bald eagles, peregrine falcons and endangered species is also hidden and the industry has been keeping an especially tight lid on these fatalities for years.

Scientific research and real data pertaining to wind turbine mortality impacts has been missing since 1985. From 1997 to 2014 approximately 31,000 eagle carcasses were shipped to the Denver Eagle Repository. The Interior Department is hiding the paper trail for all these carcasses. This trail includes the agents that picked the carcasses from around wind farms and shipping records pertaining to all these dead eagles. The Interior Department is also in possession of the paper trail for tens of thousands of other highly sensitive species that have been shipped off to their government repositories.

The numbers of mutilated raptors being sent to rehab centers that were found around wind farms is being hidden. For example the Alexander Lindsey Museum (rehab center) in Walnut Creek, California, takes in mutilated raptors picked up from around the wind turbines of Altamont Pass and Montezuma Hills wind resource areas. In the past 12 months, the Alexander Lindsey Museum has treated  238 raptors , six of which were golden eagles.

I sent 27 emails and phoned this facility asking them for specific details about the raptors smashed by wind turbines they have treated. They will not tell me or make this information public. What is even more alarming is that most raptors found still alive after being smashed by a turbine blade must be euthanized and their numbers represent just a small fraction of the raptors actually being killed. The few lucky ones that live end up in animal parks but will never return to the wild. I was told this by a Lindsey Museum staff member years ago when they were treating far fewer raptors.

Missing are statements from people in the trenches saddled with gag orders that are witnessing the wind turbine slaughter. This includes FWS agents that face up to 3 years in prison if “unauthorized” information is released. It is hard to imagine but in this sick world, the penalties for talking about the wind industry’s slaughter to eagles is far worse than the act of actually killing them illegally.

Accountability for and enforcement against the wind industry has been missing for the last 30 years. FWS Voluntary regulations, self reporting and fake studies are just part of the rigging process. The ABC lawsuit missed all of this.

Something else hidden from the public is how little “net” energy these eagle killers produce for the grid. Wind Power has never produced energy like the EIA has reported. The published energy production numbers for wind are embellished because of self reporting and the energy going into wind farms is not accounted for when reporting wind energy production. Another reason is that wind energy is being sold to utilities as part of unverifiable energy mix.

Embellished numbers also mean increased tax credits. I have a document showing Enron wind receiving energy credits that would amount to an impossible 72% capacity factor for turbines that were only producing in the 25% range.

Crisis of Character

Some think wind energy will someday power America and help save our climate, while others like me believe wind turbines are an ecological disaster of epic proportions that is leading to the extinction of many species.

My opinion is however is based upon real science, the desire to save eagles, and nearly five decades of field observations. Those that disagree have opinions based upon factors not related in any way to science. Some of the primary factors influencing these opinions have to do with monetary bias, the gullible acceptance of fraudulent research, exposure to propaganda, and poor character.

With the highly profitable wind industry, monetary biases and poor character have allowed corruption to rule this industry. In the pursuit of profits the wind industry has been rigging their research for decades hiding mortality impacts from their turbines while the FWS, an agency entrusted to protect America’s wildlife has been enabling and even participating in this ongoing fraud.

In simple terms, this is an industry that has been living off the backs of people in power processing poor character. Capping off this cesspool of bad character are slimy politicians handing over tax dollars and tax credits to this industry.

For anyone that disagrees with what I have written, I say to them: Let’s have an open Congressional hearing and fully discuss the wind industry’s turbine mortality research and the carcasses being shipped by FWS agents to repositories. I would expect that such a hearing would allow me to speak freely and ask questions of anyone representing the wind industry or the FWS. Under these conditions there can be no inside rigging.

If this hearing never takes place, then I would expect that a new lawsuit will be filed against the wind industry that will challenge the validity of every “take”(killing) permit ever issued to this industry, fraudulent mortality research and the corrupt self-reporting that has allowed this industry to conceal insight into true numbers of eagles being slaughtered by turbines.

Only then can our eagles be victorious.

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