by Robert Bryce at Robert Bryce Substack
Apologists for the wind industry — and there are legions of them at NGOs and on Wall Street — routinely claim that the hundreds of thousands of birds that are killed every year by wind turbines aren’t a big deal. They like to claim that the numbers aren’t that big and that other forms of energy production, and buildings, and cats, kill birds, too.
But Sylvester and Tigger aren’t killing our Bald Eagles and Golden Eagles. Wind turbines are — and they are killing them by the untold hundreds. That was proven last April, when the Department of Justice prosecuted ESI, a wholly owned subsidiary of Florida-based NextEra Energy, the world’s biggest renewable energy producer, for the deaths of at least 150 Bald and Golden Eagles at its wind projects in Wyoming. The DOJ prosecuted the company for what it called its “blatant disregard” for federal wildlife laws.
Indeed, the agency’s April 5, 2022 press release on the agreement with NextEra Energy, says that the company repeatedly ignored warnings from federal authorities that its proposed wind projects in Wyoming would kill eagles. Despite the warnings, the company went ahead with the projects. Why? So it could collect more in federal tax credits.
The DOJ said NextEra rushed to build the Wyoming wind projects known as Cedar Springs I and II so it could meet “deadlines for particular tax credits for renewable energy.” In other words, NextEra and ESI didn’t get federal permits because they were racing to collect even more subsidies. The DOJ said NextEra “received hundreds of millions of dollars in federal tax credits for generating electricity from wind power at facilities that it operated, knowing that multiple eagles would be killed and wounded without legal authorization, and without, in most instances, paying restitution or compensatory mitigation.” (A photo of the Cedar Springs project is featured prominently in NextEra’s ESG report.)
That’s essential background given the raging debate over offshore wind energy development and…Continue Reading