NYTimes: Wind Energy Company pays US$1 Million in Bird Deaths

This from the 22 Nov issue of the New York Times:

Duke Energy agreed on Friday to pay $1 million in fines as part of the Justice Department’s first criminal case against a wind power company for the deaths of protected birds.

A subsidiary of the company, Duke Energy Renewables, pleaded guilty in Federal District Court in Wyoming on Friday to violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, a federal law that protects migratory birds. The company was charged with killing 14 golden eagles and dozens of other birds at two wind projects in Wyoming since 2009.

In a plea agreement, the company said it would pay the fines to several conservation groups, including the North American Wetlands Conservation Fund, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The company must also put a plan in place to prevent bird deaths in the future, federal officials said.

So let me get this straight. We know windmills kill birds. But it’s ok to go ahead and build them as long as we “contribute” money back to the conservation groups that try to protect the birds.

How will any amount of US$ in “fines” get “14 golden eagles and dozens of other birds back?”

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