U.S. Wind Turbines Kill 1.4 Million Birds and Bats Every Year

U.S. Wind Turbines Kill 1.4 Million Birds and Bats Every Year
July 24, 2013

James M. Taylor

James M. Taylor is senior fellow for environment and energy policy at The Heartland Institute, and... (read full bio)

Wind turbines in the United States kill 1.4 million birds and bats each year, according to a new peer-reviewed study. Even though wind power generates only 3 percent of U.S. electricity, wind turbines kill 573,000 birds each year and 888,000 bats each year, the study reported. Many of the birds and bats killed by wind turbines are endangered and protected species.

“As wind energy continues to expand, there is urgent need to improve fatality monitoring methods, especially in the implementation of detection trials, which should be more realistically incorporated into routine monitoring,” study author Shawn Smallwood reported.

Smallwood emphasized that restricting carbon dioxide emissions, and thus conventional power generation, in the name of addressing global warming creates even worse environmental problems.

“It is the rationale that we have to get off of carbon, we have to get off of fossil fuels, that allows them to justify [building and employing more wind turbines]. But at what cost? In this case, the cost is too high,” said Smallwood.

“Despite numerous violations, the Obama administration — like the Bush administration before it — has unofficially exempted the wind industry from prosecution under the Eagle Protection and Migratory Bird Treaty Acts,” wrote the Manhattan Institute’s Robert Bryce, as reported in the Daily Caller. “By exempting the wind industry from prosecution under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act or the Eagle Protection Act, the federal government is providing another indirect subsidy to the sector.”

James M. Taylor

James M. Taylor is senior fellow for environment and energy policy at The Heartland Institute, and... (read full bio)