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READER'S EDITORIAL: FEWER THAN 500 GOLDEN EAGLES REMAIN IN CA

By Jim Wiegand

January 18, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) --The golden eagle is a species in rapid decline and most of this demise has been a relatively recent event. The primary reason for their population crash has been the development of wind energy in the habitat of this species. None of this has been publicly acknowledged.

WINDS OF CHANGE: THREE COURTS HOLD WIND INDUSTRY RESPONSIBLE FOR DAMAGES

By Miriam Raftery

November 22, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – For years, wind developers operated with impunity, not held responsible for harm to people, wildlife or communities. But a trio of landmark court rulings this month indicate a shift, with judges holding wind developers liable for the first time for impacts on human health, protected birds, and rural character. 

In a landmark ruling today, a judge in Falmouth, Massachusetts ordered the town's three wind turbines shut off at night, on Sundays and on holidays to protect the health of residents.  ‘‘This is believed to be the first time that a court in the U.S. has ruled that there is sufficient evidence that wind turbines near residential areas are a health hazard to families living nearby,’’ said Virginia Irvine, president of Wind Wise Massachusetts..  The judge ruled that  operation of the turbines nonstop put residents at risk of ‘‘irreparable physical and psychological harm.”  Neighbors had complained of negative health impacts since the turbines were built.

Also this week, in the first-ever criminal prosecution of a wind company for illegal bird kills under the Migratory Treat Act,  Duke Energy Reneawbles Inc. pled guilty and was ordered to pay a million dollars. Duke's wind projects in Wyoming slaughtered 14 golden eagles and  149 other protected birds. See Department of Justice release on the fine.

 

BILL WOULD LET ENERGY COMPANIES REMOVE NESTS AND EGGS, EXEMPT COMPANIES FROM PENALTIES FOR KILLING EAGLES, HAWKS AND OTHER RAPTORS

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 9, 2013 (Sacramento)—Wildlife experts are reacting with outrage to AB  516, a bill in the California Legislature that would  allow energy and utility companies to obtain “take” permits authorizing destruction of birds, eggs and nest that stand in the way of electrical transmission infrastructure. 

SDG&E  was caught flying helicopters too close to protected eagle nests at least four times during construction of Sunrise Powerlink.  Those incursions in three East County locations resulted in removal of one pilot and suspension of others, as well as grounding, GPS tracking and other regulatory enforcement actions. But if this bill goes through, such activities could occur without penalty in the future.

WIND INDUSTRY BREEZES INTO SAN DIEGO FOR CONFERENCE

By Miriam Raftery

January 16, 2013 (San Diego) – Wind industry professionals and government leaders gathered at the Hilton in  La Jolla-Torrey Pines for a four-day conference sponsored by the American Wind Energy Association January 14-17.

On opening day, a Regional Wind Energy Summit-West was held focusing on on demand and challenges in the region, as well as new opportunities for wind energy developers in the western United States ranging from corporate clients and point-of-use projects to repowering older wind farms. 

ECM WORLD WATCH: GLOBAL AND NATIONAL NEWS

December 26, 2012 -- (San Diego’s East County) – ECM World Watch helps you be an informed citizen about important issues globally and nationally. As part of our commitment to reflect all voices and views, we include links to a wide variety of news sources representing a broad spectrum of political, religious, and social views. Top world and U.S. headlines include:

U.S.

WORLD

Read more for excerpts and links to full stories.

WIND ENERGY TAX CREDITS SHOT DOWN

 

By Miriam Raftery
 
July 14, 2012 (Washington D.C.) –Efforts by the wind industry to amend the Small Business Jobs and Tax Relief Act (S. 2237) have failed. The industry had sought to insert  language to extend until 2014 the wind production tax credits set to expire at year’s end .Those credits allow wind developers to write off 2.2 cents of every kilowatt-hour produced. The proposed amendment would also have extended an investment tax credit covering 30 percent of costs for a wind development.

 

COUNTY PLANNERS DEAL BLOW TO WIND INDUSTRY

 
By Miriam Raftery
 
May 13, 2012 (San Diego)—San Diego’s Planning Commission voted unanimously to have staff evaluate health impacts of wind turbines on people and wildlife. Commissioners balked at approving a proposed county wind ordinance or changes to the Boulevard community plan that could make it easier to gain approval of large-scale wind projects—taking the sails out of the wind industry.

WIND ORDINANCE HITS TURBULENCE: PLANNING COMMISSION POSTPONES ACTION AMID CONCERNS FROM ALL SIDES

By Miriam Raftery

 
April 15, 2012 (San Diego)—The San Diego County Planning Commission  voted Friday to postpone action on a proposed wind ordinance after hearing several hours of testimony.  The vote was unanimous, with the exception of Commissioner Peder Norby, who abstained due to a conflict of interest.

THE DARK SIDE OF “GREEN”: WIND TURBINE ACCIDENTS, INJURIES AND FATALITIES RAISE SERIOUS SAFETY CONCERNS

 
By Miriam Raftery
 
April 4, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – Today marks the “International Protest Day Against Wind Power” with 765 websites participating.
 
A dark side of the wind industry that many media outlets have failed to report on is the thousands of documented cases of serious accidents. These include numerous documented cases of turbines falling over, blades flying off, injuries to workers and the public, and at least 99 reported fatality accidents.

READER’S EDITORIAL: THE 28 YEAR WIND INDUSTRY COVER-UP

 
By Jim Wiegand                         
 
March 14, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--A recent study from Spain estimates bird mortality to be 6-18 million birds and bats annually from their 18,000 installed wind turbines with an installed capacity of 20,676 MW. This works out to a staggering total of 333-1000 birds and bats per turbine or 290-871 mortalities per MW for wind energy in Spain. In America, on the AWEA web site the reported bird death rate from wind turbines is 2.9 fatalities per MW.                                                                                                                                    

EDITORIAL: GOLDEN EAGLES FALL PREY TO WIND INDUSTRY

 

By Jim Wiegand, wildlife biologist

April 17, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) -- The controversy surrounding wind farms in America has been brewing for over 25 years. The debate centers around the use of the deadly propeller style wind turbines and the large death toll to what are supposedly protected species. One of these species, the federally protected golden eagle, has been at the forefront of this debate from the beginning.

This is for good reason, because at Altamont Pass California, 50-75 golden eagles have been killed each year in the blades of the prop wind turbine. This killing has been taking place for over 25 years. Dr. Shawn Smallwood the foremost expert of bird mortality at the Altamont Pass wind farm estimates that 2300 golden eagles have been killed by the spinning turbine blades.

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