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Obama Admin Gives Green Energy Firms A Pass On Killing Bald Eagles

obama-thumbs-up

Whatever right?

WeaselZippers Via CBS:

The Obama administration said Friday it will allow some companies to kill or injure bald and golden eagles for up to 30 years without penalty, an effort to spur development and investment in green energy while balancing its environmental consequences.

The change, requested by the wind energy industry, will provide legal protection for the lifespan of wind farms and other projects for which companies obtain a permit and make efforts to avoid killing the birds.

An investigation by The Associated Press earlier this year documented the illegal killing of eagles around wind farms, the Obama administration’s reluctance to prosecute such cases and its willingness to help keep the scope of the eagle deaths secret. The White House has championed wind power, a pollution-free energy intended to ease global warming, as a cornerstone of President Barack Obama’s energy plan.

In other areas, too, such as the government’s support for corn-based ethanol to reduce U.S. dependence on gasoline, the White House has allowed the green industry to do not-so-green things. Another AP investigation recently showed that ethanol has proven far more damaging to the environment than politicians promised and much worse than the government admits today.

This April 18, 2013 file photo shows a golden eagle flying over a wind turbine on Duke energy’s top of the world wind farm in Converse County Wyo. The Obama administration will allow companies to seek authorization to kill and harm bald and golden eagles for up to 30 years without penalty in an effort to balance some of the environmental trade-offs of green energy. AP Photo/Dina Cappiello

Under the change announced Friday, companies would have to commit to take additional measures if they kill or injure more eagles than they have estimated they would, or if new information suggests that eagle populations are being affected. The permits would be reviewed every five years, and companies would have to submit reports of how many eagles they kill. Now such reporting is voluntarily, and the Interior Department refuses to release the information.

"This is not a program to kill eagles," said John Anderson, the director of siting policy at the American Wind Energy Association. "This permit program is about conservation."

Wind farms are clusters of turbines as tall as 30-story buildings, with spinning rotors as wide as a passenger jet’s wingspan. Though the blades appear to move slowly, they can reach speeds of up to 170 mph at the tips, creating tornado-like vortexes.

Flying eagles behave like drivers texting on their cellphones; they don’t look up. As they scan below for food, they don’t notice the industrial turbine blades until it is too late.

No wind energy company has obtained permission authorizing the killing, injuring or harassment of eagles, although five-year permits have been available since 2009. That puts the companies at legal risk and discourages private investment in renewable energy.

It also doesn’t necessarily help eagles, since without a permit, companies are not required to take steps to reduce their impact on the birds or report when they kill them.

The new rule makes clear that revoking a permit – which could undermine investments and interest in wind power – is a last resort under the administration’s energy policy.

"We anticipate that implementing additional mitigation measures … will reduce the likelihood of amendments to, or revocation of, the permit," the rule said.

Conservation groups, which have been aligned with the wind industry on other issues, said the decision by the Interior Department sanctioned the killing of an American icon.

"Instead of balancing the need for conservation and renewable energy, Interior wrote the wind industry a blank check," said Audubon President and CEO David Yarnold in a statement. The group said it will challenge the decision.

The wind energy industry has said the change mirrors permits already in place for endangered species, which are more at risk than bald and golden eagles. Bald eagles were removed from the endangered species list in 2007 but are still protected under two federal laws.

The regulation published Friday was not subjected to a full environmental review because the administration classified it as an administrative change.

"The federal government didn’t study the impacts of this rule change even though the (law) requires it," said Kelly Fuller, who formerly headed up the wind campaign at the American Bird Conservancy. "Instead, the feds have decided to break the law and use eagles as lab rats."

The Fish and Wildlife Service said the new rule enables it to better monitor the long-term environmental effects of renewable energy projects.

"Our goal is to ensure that the wind industry sites and operates projects in ways that best minimize and avoid impacts to eagles and other wildlife," the agency said in a statement.

Last month, Duke Energy Corp. pleaded guilty to killing eagles and other birds at two wind farms in Wyoming, the first time a wind energy company has been prosecuted under a law protecting migratory birds.

A study by federal biologists in September found that wind farms since 2008 had killed at least 67 bald and golden eagles, a number that the researchers said was likely underestimated.

It’s unclear what toll, if any, wind energy companies are having on eagle populations locally or regionally. Gunshots, electrocutions and poisonings almost certainly kill more bald and golden eagles than wind farms. But with the industry still growing, the toll could grow, too.

A recent assessment of status of the golden eagle in the western U.S. showed that populations have been decreasing in some areas and rising in others.

AP

Feeding the Eagles

The Amazing Bald Eagle

December 7, 2013 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rights And Awareness, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Political Change, Unusual Stories, Wild Animals | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Eagle Handler

One of friends mentioned that his wife is the eagle handler at a zoo.

He posted some links to pictures of his wife with the bird. Golden eagle by the looks of it. Here’s a couple of selected shots:

Quote: “My wife is a docent at the zoo where she volunteers. She is the eagle handler. They take them places and show off the animals. The eagle they have, Aspen, is the sister to the eagle that flies for Auburn. I forget his name.”

Hat Tip: Garry Hamilton from the NoisyRoom

February 25, 2012 Posted by | Animal and Pet Photos, Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Just One More Pet, Pet and Animal Training, Pets, Wild Animals | , , | Leave a comment

Happy Veterans Day – The Amazing Bald Eagle

This is the kind of story you need when it seems like the world is spiraling out of control..

Not many people get a picture of this proud bird
snuggled up next to them

Freedom and Jeff

Freedom
and I have been together 10 years this summer.
She came in as a baby in 1998 with two broken
wings. Her left wing doesn’t open all the way
even after surgery, it was broken in 4
places. She’s my baby.

When
Freedom came in she could not stand
and both wings were broken. She was
emaciated and covered in lice. We made the
decision to give her a chance at life, so I took
her to the vets office. From then
on, I was always around her. We had her in a
huge dog carrier with the top off, and it
was loaded up with shredded newspaper for her to
lay in. I used to sit and talk to her,
urging her to live, to fight; and she would lay
there looking at me with those big brown eyes.
We also had to tube feed her for
weeks.

This
went on for 4-6 weeks, and by then she still
couldn’t stand. It got to the point where the
decision was made to euthanize her if she
couldn’t stand in a week. You know you don’t
want to cross that line between torture and
rehab, and it looked like death was
winning. She was going to be put
down that Friday, and I was supposed to come in
on that Thursday afternoon. I didn’t want to go
to the center that Thursday, because I couldn’t
bear the thought of her being euthanized;
but I went anyway, and when I walked in everyone
was grinning from ear to ear. I went
immediately back to her cage; and there she was,
standing on her own, a big beautiful
eagle. She was ready to live. I was
just about in tears by then. That
was a very good day.

We
knew she could never fly, so the director
asked me to glove train her. I got her used to
the glove, and then to jesses, and we
started doing education programs for schools in
western Washington
. We wound up in the newspapers,
radio (believe it or not) and some
TV. Miracle Pets even did a show
about us.

In
the spring of 2000, I was diagnosed with
non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. I had stage 3,
which is not good (one major organ plus
everywhere), so I wound up doing 8 months of
chemo. Lost the hair – the whole
bit. I missed a lot of work. When I
felt good enough, I would go to Sarvey
and take Freedom out for walks. Freedom would
also come to me in my dreams and help me fight
the cancer. This happened time and time
again.

Fast
forward to November 2000, the day after
Thanksgiving. I went in for my last
checkup. I was told that if the cancer was not
all gone after 8 rounds of chemo, then my last
option was a stem cell transplant. Anyway, they
did the tests; and I had to come back Monday for
the results. I went in Monday, and I was
told that all the cancer was
gone.

So
the first thing I did was get up to Sarvey and
take the big girl out for a walk. It was misty
and cold. I went to her flight and jessed her
up, and we went out front to the top of the
hill. I hadn’t said a word to
Freedom, but somehow she knew. She looked at me
and wrapped both her wings around me to where I
could feel them pressing in on my back
(I was engulfed in eagle wings), and she
touched my nose with her beak and stared into my
eyes, and we just stood there like
that for I don’t know how long. That was a
magic moment.. We have been soul mates ever
since she came in. This is a very special
bird.

On
a side note: I have had people who
were sick come up to us when we are out, and
Freedom has some kind of hold on
them. I once had a guy who was
terminal come up to us and I let him hold
her. His knees just about buckled and he
swore he could feel her power coarse through his
body. I have so many stories like
that.

I  never forget the honor I have of being so close
to such a magnificent spirit as Freedom.

Hope you enjoy this.
Jeff

Is there any wonder that this magnificent creature is the symbol for our Country?? The Eagle… a magnificent spirit of Freedom that reminds us of what America is all about!!

Lee Greenwood – God Bless the USA

Nubs the Dog:  ‘The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine, & a Miracle’

Source:  Kate from As A Mom… Sisterhood of the Mommy Patriots

Posted:  Just One More Pet

November 12, 2009 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Just One More Pet, Uncategorized, Unusual Stories, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments