June 28, 2014

As Wind Farm Gets Permit to Kill Eagles, AP’s Scott Smith Claims Wind Energy Has ‘Exploded’ Under Obama

In a Thursday evening writeup about how the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will allow a California wind farm to “become the first in the nation to avoid prosecution if eagles are injured or die when they run into the giant turning blades,” reporter Scott Smith at the Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press, took a big gulp of his hi-test White House koolaid and wrote: “Under President Barack Obama, wind energy has exploded as a pollution-free energy source that can help reduce the greenhouse gases blamed for global warming.”

As we approach 18 years of no global warming, poor Scott probably has no idea, after decades of effort and tens of billions of dollars in tax credits and other subsidies, how insignificant wind energy remains in the grand scheme of U.S. energy production. So let’s help him.

AmericanBaldEagle

The following table shows energy production in 2008, the year before Dear Leader’s blessed arrival, and 2013 (source tables, both PDFs, are here and here):

EnergyProduction2008and2013

Scott Smith’s “explosion” is more like a small firecracker your child sets off in the back yard — only you effectively paid the store which sold you the firecracker a multiple of what you should have.

At the rate of “explosive,” heavily subsidized growth noted above, expensive, environmentally dangerous wind power will eventually reach 10 percent of the nation’s energy production — in 2040, or 26 years from now (the 8 percent share increase still needed divided by a rounded up 0.3 percent increase per year equalis 27 years needed after 2013).

A September 2013 report from the (ahem) Associated Press indicated that 67 bald eagles were killed at wind farms during the previous five years — “but the figure could be much higher.” To be fair, Smith did note that “An Associated Press investigation in 2013 found that the Obama administration has charged oil companies for drowning birds in their waste pits, and power companies for electrocuting birds on power lines, but it has taken little if any action against wind-energy companies, shielding them from liability.” But now the shield has been formalized.

Friday morning at National Review’s The Corner blog, Veronique de Rugy made points the AP’s Smith “somehow” overlooked to emphasize the nature of the break the California wind farm is receiving (links are in original):

Under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, the felony killing of a bald eagle is punished by a fine of $250,000 and prison time. The authorities are taking the killing seriously. Well, sort of. As it turns out, not everyone is equal under the do-not-kill-bald-eagles law. If you happen to be a favored industry like say, a wind farm, you could get a get-out-of-jail-free card after killing up to five bald eagles if you request a permit and the feds grants it.

… Bald eagles watch out, turns out, you are not that special after all. That’s a lesson some 888,000 bats and 573,000 birds had to learn back in 2012.

Paraphrasing Orwell, some forms of energy are obvious more equal than others.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

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