Feds look other way as wind farms kill birds -- but haul oil and gas firms to court


The disconnect demonstrates what critics call a blatant double standard that has to change. While the federal government aggressively pursues oil and gas companies for wildlife deaths, it often gives wind producers a pass.

Proponents say going soft on the wind industry allows it to compete. But environmentalists say, in this instance, it’s unacceptable.
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“How does an industry kill more than 2,000 eagles and not be fined once?” Johns said. “It’s a head scratcher.”
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Critics say it’s time for the (wind) industry to stand on its own or call it quits -- having benefited not only from the production tax credit but a de facto grant of immunity from federal prosecution under some of the country’s oldest wildlife laws.

The backlash against the wind industry is spreading to issues across other parts of the country.

In October, 60 residents of Hermiker County in upstate New York sued the owners and developers of a 37-turbine wind farm. They claim the turbines are bigger and noisier than developers had promised and say the farm is decreasing property values in the area and causing health problems.

Noise from the property has at times clocked in above 72 decibels, 22 decibels more than local law allows.