September 18, 2019

When Government Regulates Government, People Lose and Eagles Die

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deadeagleOh, my! Where to begin? I’ve been keeping a bit of an eye on this issue of the turning blades of wind turbines killing birds of all kind, including bald and golden eagles. Recently I posted some information about President Obama (his Fish and Wildlife Service) issuing a 30-year Incidental Take Permit, that would allow owners of wind farms to legally kill the protected eagles.

Since this announcement came, several Online have voiced some disdain for what they were hearing, but it soon became obvious that few actually understood what was going on and how the Endangered Species Act, and its history, are playing a key role.

The American Interest, a website where readers can find articles by Walter Meade, has a Meade article in reference to Obama’s granting of the Incidental Take Permit to allow the killing of eagles. For those who may not know, an Incidental Take Permit (ITP) is a permit that can be issued by the U.S. Government, through the Endangered Species Act (ESA) Section 10. Such a permit, grants an entity the legal right to kill a prescribed number of protected species. In this case, wind farm owners have convinced Obama (wink, wink) that their actions of protecting certain habitat will more than offset the loss of eagles from their rotating cutter blades (wink, wink).

Unfortunately, Meade does little to help the cause of stopping wind farms from the wildlife and habitat destruction they cause. Neither does the author of a piece Meade refers to. More on that in a bit.

Meade says:

This issue pits two of the biggest pillars of the green movement—renewable energy advocates and conservationists—against one another. But put in proper perspective, wind farms aren’t the kind of bird-mincing machines that some environmentalists make them out to be. Cats kill five times more birds every year; glass buildings are deadlier to our avian friends than turbine blades.

Perhaps this statement is an attempt at humor; if so it’s a bad one. I have no real issue with Walter Meade, nor do I care which side of the environmentally destructive wind farm industry he comes down on. What irks me is the absurdity of a person to make the statement about how many birds cats kill and how many birds break their necks running into plate glass windows, while attempting to compare it to windmills killing endangered birds.

The statement is as dumb as those, and there are millions of them, who use the example of domestic dog attacks vs. wolf attacks. The point being there are millions and millions of domestic dogs in this country alone, relatively compared to a handful of wolves. Of course there would be more dog attacks, especially since people and dogs are cohabiting; like in the same house and bed.

I am of the impression that Mr. Meade doesn’t understand or didn’t think before making such a ridiculous comparison. How many cats are there; especially feral cats? And certainly I think there might be a few more buildings around for birds to run into than windmills. In addition, I don’t recall ever hearing of a domestic or feral “kitty cat” attacking and killing a bald or golden eagle. I would have to do a bit of research to know if eagles fly into plate glass windows, but I think you get my point.

Another point to make about the locations of wind farms. Sometimes these farms are strategically placed in areas where prevailing winds blow and blow constantly. After all, they do need wind to generate electricity. Those winds are also used by migratory birds and as a result get caught up in the blades of the turbines and are killed.

What is not being talked about much is the fact that many of these wind farms are the pet projects of President Barack Obama. He loves them so, he took our tax money and gave it to his “pals” (voters) within the wind industry so they could construct their not so cost effective wind farms. Did you really think after allowing his “buds” to use our tax money and build giant, wildlife-killing windmills, he wouldn’t also give them their Incidental Take Permit? Or who knew anyway?

Smart people know and understand that the killing of eagles by windmills is a far cry from exclaiming the woes of cats and plate glass killing birds. In addition, some of the same smart people know and understand that when you call upon government to issue permits for themselves or to implement regulations against themselves, little right can come of it.

By not being grounded in the historic abuses of the Endangered Species Act, by political groups and our own government, would only lead someone to call upon more government regulations, dressed up with some lipstick, to fix government regulation. Such is the case in the article referred to in Meade’s piece. That article is written by Mario Loyola, called: “How Texas Can Save the Endangered Species Act.” It’s a very long and wordy piece that I’ll let readers work their way through should they choose. But I’ll point out a couple of things.

The reference to efforts ongoing in Texas, as they relate to endangered species, has to do with Texas government efforts to find ways of allowing industry to continue it’s violations against the ESA by making people, the landowners, think they are getting a good deal, but in the end still lose their land and rights.

In Loyola’s piece, 99.99% has to do with benefiting large corporations, protection of habitat (more accurately known as theft of land and rights), and still screwing over the private landowner.

One thing to consider right up front is found in an opening paragraph by Loyola referencing the economic destruction of the spotted owl issue.

The decision caused a lot of pain and suffering for how much good it did, which turned out to be none at all. The northern spotted owl’s population continued dwindling because, as it turned out, the principal threat to its survival was apparently not habitat loss, but the spread of an invasive species: its cousin, the larger eastern barred owl.

Apparently? And herein lies the issue that angers many of us. Way back when, it was argued there was no good science to support claims being made by the environmentalists that loss of habitat was supposedly killing the spotted owl. Now that the environmentalists were successful in shutting down land, they now want to try something else claiming that “new science” has revealed something better.

The article in reference makes claims that this plan in Texas would solve the science issue because habitat exchanges would provide for scientists to use money, paid by corporations into the exchanges, to bribe landowners to let them go on their land and do research in order to better discover how much habitat is needed to protect certain species and whether or not private land would do the trick for the corporations. And then, they would screw over the private land owner. In addition, history of government corruption should teach us that the so-called private industry scientists would be nothing more than government bribed individuals continuing the bastardization of science for political purposes.

And this somehow would solve the “best available science” issue? I think not. Government regulation and politics destroys everything. What is being suggested is simply more government regulation dressed up with a bit of lipstick.

The author admits the ESA needs amending but thinks what needs to be done can be accomplished with utilizing Texas’s mitigation exchange programs. He even refers to, but does not recognize as such, the abuse by non governmental agencies, through the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA), in forcing the USFWS to act on over 250 demands for action against threatened species. Knowing full well that the USFWS cannot act on all of these, places government money (that’s taxpayer money) into the pockets of these environmentalists. It has become their cash cow.

Government got involved in the wind industry when Obama and Congress opted to subsidize it. And now to protect their investment (not ours) they must issue an ITP in order to not slow up a failed energy system they must prop up for votes. People believing that the issuing of the ITP is wrong and suggesting government regulation can fix it, are insane – by definition.

I have long written that real amendments to the ESA and the EAJA can go a long way in curbing the abuses undertaken by greedy special interest groups, while at the same time actually doing something to protect those threatened and endangered species. Government subsidies amount to the spread of communism. The intent in the subsidies is to insure government control and interference. Until these changes are made, it is fool’s folly to think more regulation will make a difference to the individual.

And that lost difference is all by design.

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