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.
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.
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.
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:
- Business groups grow frustrated over impasse in ‘fiscal cliff’ talks (The Hill)
- Immigrants Welcomed: A City Sees Economic Promise (NPR)
- Nearing fiscal cliff, wind industry waits (North County NPR)
- American wind industry proposes to phase out tax credits (Hydrogen News)
- End the Wind Production Tax Credit (U.S. News and World Reports)
- NRA defends call for armed guards at schools (Reuters)
- Audits looking for undocumented immigrants on the rise (Christian Science Monitor)
- Few tests done at toxic sites after superstorm (U-T San Diego)
- North Korea could have U.S. within missile range, says South (Reuters)
- Mayan temple damaged in tourists’ ‘apocalypse’ frenzy (Raw Story)
- India rape protests; reporter shot dead (Sky News)
- AP Exclusive: Palestinians aim to isolate Israel (U-T San Diego)
- UN confirms Hezbollah fighting for Assad in Syria (Jerusalem Post)
- Thousands of Islamists clash with opponents in Egypt (Christian Science Monitor)
- Risk For Pakistan's Polio Workers Escalates (NPR)
Read more for excerpts and links to full stories.
By Miriam Raftery
THE DARK SIDE OF “GREEN”: WIND TURBINE ACCIDENTS, INJURIES AND FATALITIES RAISE SERIOUS SAFETY CONCERNS
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.