Proprietors of a series of green energy wind farms have been placed on probation and ordered to pay $8 million in fines and restitution after pleading guilty to killing upwards of 150 eagles across the past decade in eight states, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.
The criminal case was decided against the backdrop of President Joe Biden pushing for more onshore and offshore renewable energy from wind, solar and other sources, as Breitbart News reported.
It’s illegal to kill or harm eagles under U.S. federal law.
AP reports NextEra Energy subsidiary ESI Energy pleaded guilty to three counts of violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act during a court appearance in Cheyenne, Wyoming. It was charged in the deaths of eagles at three of its wind farms in Wyoming and New Mexico. The report continued:
In addition to those deaths, golden and bald eagles were killed at wind farms affiliated with ESI and NextEra since 2012 in eight states, prosecutors said: Wyoming, California, New Mexico, North Dakota, Colorado, Michigan, Arizona and Illinois. The birds are killed when they fly into the blades of wind turbines. Some ESI turbines killed multiple eagles, prosecutors said.
The company was warned prior to building the wind farms in New Mexico and Wyoming that they would kill birds, but it proceeded anyway and at times ignored advice from federal wildlife officials about how to minimize the deaths, according to court documents.
In addition to the deaths cited in the case, the company acknowledged the deaths of golden and bald eagles at 50 wind farms affiliated with ESI and NextEra since 2012, prosecutors said.
In total eight states saw bird deaths: Wyoming, California, New Mexico, North Dakota, Colorado, Michigan, and Arizona.
Illinois was also listed as a source of the deaths as a push continues there for more green energy outlets from more windfarms.
NextEra, based in Juno Beach, Florida, bills itself as the world’s largest utility company by market value, according to AP. It has more than 100 wind farms in the U.S. and Canada and also generates natural gas, nuclear and solar power
Almost all of the eagles killed at the NextEra subsidiary’s facilities were struck by the blades of wind turbines, prosecutors said.
Some turbines killed multiple eagles and because the carcasses are not always found, officials said the number killed was likely higher than the 150 birds cited in court documents.
Nearly half of the wind turbines in the state of Texas froze in recent winter weather, hurting state power supplies, authorities said. https://t.co/0ILqxLxCRd
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) February 16, 2021
The American Eagle Foundation has shared many statistics of how many birds are effected by wind energy. It states “a 2013 study published in The Wildlife Society Bulletin found that wind turbines killed an estimated 573,000 birds annually in the United States.”
All have paid the price of the relentless push towards renewables and away from baseload power provided by fossil fuels and nuclear as green energy continues to struggle to meet the demands placed on it.
NOLTE: "Blackouts in the failing state of Democrat-run California have forced Governor Gavin Newsom to admit green energy is falling short." https://t.co/Gv0p3Ak52l
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) August 17, 2020
Not only are the disturbances and noise of the building of turbines an issue but also the sound of the windmills rotating and electromagnetic fields (EMF) caused by transferring the electricity to consumers.
Those problems are in addition to the windmill blades themselves and the toll they exact on birds and other associated wildlife.