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Bird Organization Calls for Regulation of Wind Power

The American Bird Conservancy urges US Senators to include the US Fish and Wildlife Service Advisory Committee’s recommendations for wind turbine impacts on wildlife as part of the renewable energy tax package currently under review.

The organization also wants the potential extension of the Section 1603 Treasury Gran Program for renewable energy to include that the wind power industry must comply with the National Environmental Policy Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, and Endangered Species Act.

“We don’t believe that American tax dollars should be used for corporations who don’t follow Federal wind energy guidelines or wildlife and environmental laws,” says ABC Wind Program Coordinator, Kelly Fuller.

“Most Americans have heard that wind turbines kill birds, but they haven’t heard there are solutions to safeguard birds that aren’t fully used. Unless the grant program being considered for extension explicitly protects birds, our tax dollars will subsidize the deaths of songbirds, raptors, and other birds that Americans love. Voluntary compliance with guidelines and the law hasn’t worked before and we see no reason to expect that to change,” Fuller adds.

ABC says it supports the development of alternative energy sources, including wind power, but wind projects need to a) be sited in a manner that avoids or minimizes harm to birds, b) employ best technology and management practices that reduce harm to birds, and c) incorporate mitigation measures that fully compensate for bird deaths and other impacts.

Renewable Energy Focus notes that the wind industry is increasingly learning from previous siting errors and that most developers now will take such considerations into the equation in order get planning permission.

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