The Current Issues Involving Wind Farms and Wildlife

1920 WordsJun 16, 20188 Pages
Introduction and Background: Wind energy has been one of the greatest developments in the field of renewable energy in the last several years. Wind farms, based off of energy production facts, are pivotal in our society, to the continued push to reduce fossil fuel usage and greenhouse gas emissions. To the untrained eye, they seem as though they are too good to be true; a cheaper form of energy that also emits less pollution than traditional forms of energy production (find a source for this) sounds perfect, right? However, there has been growing tension between the wind energy industry and environmental groups as the Obama administration continues pushing for more renewable energy projects. Several things have caused this tension.…show more content…
Reported again by the Wilson journal of Ornithology, the amount of deaths to birds caused by factors other than wind turbines are as follows: flying into power lines (an estimated death count of 175 million per year, while electrocuting an estimated tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands more), poisoning by misapplied pesticides (which causes an estimated 72 million deaths), hitting communication towers (causes nearly 6.6 million deaths), and lastly as many as one million birds die in oil and gas industry fluid waste pits every year (Negin). With the toll of birds dying from impacts with wind turbines, one would think there would protection policies in place to lessen the upward trending deaths, and there are several. First, the Endangered Species Act protects birds such as the whooping crane. The Endangered Species Act (ESA) is said to perhaps be, “the most important piece of environmental legislation ever passed in the United States” by the American Bird Conservancy. The whooping crane is one of the biggest successes of the ESA because of the fact that their population was once down as low as 16 birds in 1941. With the increased effort to maintain the lives of the tallest American bird, the whooping crane has now reached a population of approximately 345, with 130 in captivity, 80 of which do not migrate and live year-round in Florida, 50 that
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