** Previously Recorded by Phyllis Schlafly / May 2012 **
The eagle is a gorgeous and most impressive bird. It’s no wonder that it was chosen to be honored as the American bird. I have been blessed to live in a area where eagles congregate every winter. They come down three rivers, the Mississippi, the Missouri and the Illinois, and Alton, Illinois is about as far south as many of them care to go in the winter. It is a federal crime to kill an eagle. It can result in a fine of up to $250,000 and imprisonment for two years. Over the past two decades, the federal government has prosecuted hundreds of cases against oil and gas producers and electricity producers for violating some of our wildlife protection laws: the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Eagle Protection Act.
But there is one way that dozens of eagles are killed every year without any punishment. They are killed by the windmills we are beginning to see almost everywhere. The wind energy industry seems to have a license to kill golden eagles and lots of other migratory birds. It’s not an official license, but they have not been prosecuted. The Los Angeles Times reported that about 70 golden eagles are being killed every year by the wind turbines at Altamont Pass near Oakland, California. A study funded by the Alameda County Commission Development Agency estimated that about 2,400 birds of various kinds, including owls and red-tailed hawks, as well as 7,500 other birds that are supposed to be protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, are being killed every year by the those windmills near Oakland. This is such a double standard about killing endangered species that there must have been an okay from the top not to prosecute the windmills for violating wildlife laws. Windmills should not be allowed to kill our eagles.