Rule to allow wind farms to kill eagles for 30 years overturned. FWS has to actually consider whether 30 year free-kill-permits might affect eagles.
I’m catching up on a long backlog of articles describing the devastation from wind and solar power. On 8/13/15, Chris Clarke at ReWire reported Court Sends 30-Year Eagle Kill Permits Back to Drawing Board.
District Court in San Jose (that puts it in the 9th Circuit!) ruled the FWS must look at the impact on eagles of allowing a 30-year taking permit. Judge points out the lower and mid-level scientists at FWS strongly opposed the rule. It is only the two most senior executives that liked the idea, so they wrote the rule and published it.
The driving reason for the rule is that the wind industry said they can’t get loans longer than five years if their operating permits could be revoked in five years. Thus, financing would be difficult. In other words, they can’t make a ton of money if killing off too many of those pesky eagles becomes a major issue for the feds.
So, since the slice-and-dice industry wanted permission to kill off some eagles for more than 5 years, FWS wrote the rule.
Can you say regulatory capture? At least, that is the essential picture Mr. Clarke describes.
FWS will now have to perform an environmental impact study on what impact the 30-year permits will have on the eagle populations.