Like Countable?

Install the App
TRY NOW

Interior Department Will No Longer Prosecute Energy Producers For Killing Migratory Birds

by Countable | 12.27.17

What’s the story?

Since 1918 the federal government has protected migratory birds via the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA). The Obama administration used the MBTA as a tool to go after energy producers whose installations contributed to migratory bird deaths. The Trump administration quietly rescinded the policy, stating they will no longer prosecute “oil and gas, wind, and solar operators that accidentally kill birds”, reports the Washington Post.

Supporters of the change say that the previous administration’s interpretation of the restriction against illegally pursuing, hunting, taking or capturing birds without a permit is overly broad as applied to power system installations. Advocates believe the change will remove the incentive for industry to negotiate solutions to an ongoing problem.

The Post states that rough estimates point to hundreds of millions of bird deaths a year:

“hundreds of thousands of birds probably die each year when they become caught in wind turbine blades. Oil-waste pits kill between a half-million and 1 million birds each year, according to Audubon, while power lines cause the death of up to 175 million birds per year.”

Collin O’Mara, president of the National Wildlife Federation, said in an interview that the Obama administration’s legal interpretation was too broad, but that the new interpretation is too narrow, and does not provide the balance and “certainty both industry and conservationists have sought for years.”

What do you think?

Are you concerned about a balance between conservation and industry generally, or in this case specifically? Do you think a balance is possible, or should the needs of either conservation or energy take precedence?

Tell us in the comments what you think, then use the Take Action button to tell your reps!

— Asha Sanaker

(Photo Credit: Max Pixel / Creative Commons)

Countable

Written by Countable

Leave a comment
(68)
  • Patricia
    12/27/2017
    ···

    Conservation is the priority. Big business needs to adapt to global warming. Corporations have the money to research and improve processing of their products so that there will be a future in which their products will be used. Ex: Kill farm lands and Caterpillar goes down. Make the vehicles earth and environment friendly.

    Like (22)
    Follow
    Share
  • Robert
    12/27/2017
    ···

    I feel like the energy department has a responsibility to keep their impact as low as possible on the environment. Unsustainable energy, and energy at the cost of ecosystems are unacceptable. Progress through environmental neglect is not progress. We live in this environment if we destroy it, it will destroy us.

    Like (20)
    Follow
    Share
  • Promise
    12/27/2017
    ···

    Wow. Protecting migratory birds didn’t negatively impact energy companies. The birds on the other hand died, which is about as negative as you can get.

    Like (18)
    Follow
    Share
  • Kodiwodi
    12/27/2017
    ···

    Wow. Is there any animal, mineral, environment, people that Trump won’t grind to dust in order to advance himself and his rich pals while dragging the country back into the dark ages? This man is evil. Everything he touches turns to crap. Anyone who supports him is an abomination.

    Like (12)
    Follow
    Share
  • Sheryl
    12/27/2017
    ···

    Corporate America has already decimated honey bees. NOW it’s time we extinguish those pesty birds. I will be dancing and celebrating on the scorched earth that USED to be my garden

    Like (12)
    Follow
    Share
  • KansasTamale
    12/27/2017
    ···

    What the HELL ARE THESE PEOPLE THINKING??? Corporations are ruling our country. The animals & the elderly, the children’s and DACA children are all being SCREWED BY THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION. AMERICA IS NOT GREAT ANYMORE, IT’s BECOMING TRASH.

    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share
  • Gerald
    12/28/2017
    ···

    Let’s see. Take all the birds in the United States, all the arctic terns migrating from Canada to Argentina, all the hummingbirds flitting south, Hell throw in the monarch butterflies and add up their political donations to the republicans and you get a big fat goose egg. Zero. Now, take the donations from all the corporations involved and you can see who is going to become massacred without legislative help. Next expect Huckabee-Sanders to say this action creates jobs...(picking up dead birds). Make Trump extinct.

    Like (8)
    Follow
    Share
  • verymary
    12/27/2017
    ···

    Has anyone in Congress ever watched the flight of migratory birds? Has anyone marveled at their beauty, their resilience, their wisdom, their strength, their ability to survive? But of course their ability to survive has just been trumped, hasn't it?

    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
  • Michael.J.L
    12/27/2017
    ···

    This administration gets more and more sickening by the day, hell, sometimes even by the hour. Only interested in protecting rich, white individuals, Big Oil, coal industry, polluters, you name it.

    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
  • Jared
    12/27/2017
    ···

    To congressmen Tester, Daines, and Gianforte. As a resident of Montana, and how much we care for the land and animals around us I feel this is the most appalling thing Secretary Zinke could do. This needs to be reversed by congress. Big corporations need to learn to adapt to the world and not the world adapt to them. Please I urge you to take action against this. I am a constituent and I vote in ever election.

    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
  • Franky
    12/27/2017
    ···

    So energy producers are liable because thousands of birds can’t see? Thats. Freaking. Hilarious. Maybe they should post warning signs for these birds; use Woody Woodpecker as the official bird for Bird Safety.

    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share
  • Brent
    12/27/2017
    ···

    There IS a Happy Medium. However, conservation of wildlife should be considered first.

    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share
  • Cndrla
    12/27/2017
    ···

    Ok I’m just gonna say it...these white rich greedy Republican men are ass holes. They would sell their mothers soul if they could make a dime. 2018 2018 2018 2018 2018 2018 2018 2020 2020 2020 2020 2020 2020!!

    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share
  • Christine
    12/27/2017
    ···

    djt and his corporate cronies are despicable.

    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share
  • Donna
    12/27/2017
    ···

    Get a conscience and stop the bullshit. This administration wins the prize for the most regulations rolled back in the first year of office. This is like Orrin Hatch being named the Utahan of the Year. It is just as disgraceful.

    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
  • Leslie
    12/28/2017
    ···

    There needs to be a balanced between the necessity of protecting migratory birds from injury and the progress toward more clean energy sources. Designing safe wind turbines, establishing a quick and comprehensive cleaning method when oil is leaked. We do not fully comprehend the importance of migratory birds to the balance in nature

    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
  • J
    12/27/2017
    ···

    Another assault on the environment. Only way to fix this is to have the rich live in their horrendous stew.

    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
  • Ken
    12/28/2017
    ···

    I am concerned about a balance between conservation and industry. We do want to protect migratory birds. We need to make sure that some protections are in place to prevent the killing of these birds.

    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
  • John
    12/27/2017
    ···

    Thousands or millions? Where are all those bird carcasses?🤔

    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
  • Sam
    12/27/2017
    ···

    These deaths need to be investigated and accounted for. We cannot sit by passively as massive amounts of a species are killed. These birds are part of an ecosystem on which we are all dependent. Rules governing the dangers to migratory birds encourage companies to find safer and less invasive ways of producing their product that has fewer unintended environmental consequences.

    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share