Photo by Flickr user Jeff Babbitt
In a settlement announced Friday, wind power company Duke Energy Corp. will pay $1 million for killing 14 golden eagles and 149 other birds at two Wyoming wind farms, the Associated Press reports.
As part of President Barack Obama’s advocacy for pollution-free wind power, this is the first case to be prosecuted under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, with Duke Energy pleading guilty to misdemeanor charges for eagle deaths over the past three years.
“We deeply regret the impacts of golden eagles at two of our wind facilities,” Greg Wolf, president of Duke Energy Renewables Inc., said in a statement. “Our goal is to provide the benefits of wind energy in the most environmentally responsible way possible.” According to a scientific study released by federal biologists in September, at least 67 golden and bald eagles have perished in collisions with turbines at wind energy facilities between 2008 and 2012. Scientists involved with the study said the death toll coincides with the wind energy industry’s expansion.