Steven Hunter: Wind farms kill raptors in greater numbers

10/16/2013 7:47 PM

10/16/2013 7:50 PM

Numerous studies have shown that lead in the food chain is a real threat to predators and scavengers. Environmentalists have successfully lobbied for a ban on lead ammunition.

Let’s consider the lethal effect of wind turbines. The wind energy industry is not bound by the same environmental safeguards as other members of the energy industry, thus has no restrictions on the number of raptors that are killed by the turbines’ fast moving blade tips.

Each year, in excess of 2,000 raptors are killed in the Altamont Pass by wind turbines. The toll could be higher because bird carcasses are quickly removed by scavengers. The death count is worrisome because the turbines lie within a region containing one of the highest densities of nesting golden eagles in the United States. Nationwide, according to the Fish and Wildlife Service, more 440,000 birds are killed at wind farms each year.

Gov. Brown in April 2011, signed into law that a third of the electricity used in California come from renewable sources, including wind, by 2020. Why would he sign into law the use of wind turbines when they kill more raptors than lead in the food chain? Where are the environmental lobbyists?

STEVEN HUNTER

Modesto

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