Colorado will be considering first-of-its-kind legislation that would require wind farms and other renewable-energy producers to protect birds and other wildlife. Colorado State Senator David Balmer is introducing the Bird Protection Act to the state legislature in January 2015.
“This bill will protect our sacred bald eagles and other bird species that currently are being killed in alarming numbers,” Senator Balmer said.
But aren’t birds, especially endangered species, protected by the federal government? Turns out that the wind industry supposedly follows voluntary guidelines—and how is that working out?
“The federal guidelines are simply not being followed,” said Dr. Michael Hutchins, National Coordinator of the American Bird Conservancy’s Bird Smart Wind Energy Campaign. “We knew that would be the case when they were announced and now, all signs point to them being frequently ignored.”
So while Senator Balmer seeks to protect sacred bald eagles, wind farms continue to kill about 83,000 raptors annually, among 573,000 total birds. According to the ABC, that total will be 1.4 million bird kills a year by 2030 if current industry expansion continues as planned.