Federal Wildlife Officials Give Their Blessing To Killing Endangered Birds

Here in North Dakota a half-dozen oil companies faced criminal prosecution under the Migratory Birds Treaty Act by Obama-appointed US Attorney Tim Purdon over about a dozen dead ducks – common ducks, not at all endangered – found at oil sites during a months-long investigation.

Thankfully, those prosecutions were laughed out of federal court, but it’s worth remembering that attempted prosecution when reading about the feds giving their blessing to windmills slicing and dicing endangered birds:

Federal wildlife officials took the unprecedented step Friday of telling private companies that they will not be prosecuted for inadvertently harassing or even killing endangered California condors.

In a decision swiftly condemned by conservationists and wildlife advocates, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said operators of Terra-Gen Power’s wind farm in the Tehachapi Mountains will not be prosecuted if their turbines accidentally kill a condor during the expected 30-year life span of the project.

California condors were brought back from the brink of extinction a quarter-century ago and still cling precariously to survival. Federal law prohibits the harassment or killing of endangered species for any reason.

Fish and Wildlife also made an exception for the 270,000-acre Tejon Ranch Co., saying that the government will not prosecute if construction of the company’s controversial 5,553-acre development of luxury homes, hotels and golf courses violates the harassment ban in the endangered species law. The exception will last for 50 years. The project is expected to consume 8% of the critical condor habitat in the Tehachapis, about 60 miles north of Los Angeles.

Not only do the wind power folks enjoy heavy taxpayer subsidies for producing wind energy, and not only do they enjoy a mandate for a use of their energy in many parts of the country, but now they’re also protected from regulations intended to prevent environmental harms that other power industry companies must adhere to.

This isn’t just an environmental travesty. This is a travesty for the rule of law.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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