Monday, March 07, 2011

Bird-Smart Wind Power

Wind energy holds some potential for reducing the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by our power sources, but this environmental benefit comes at a cost. Wind farms may harm birds and bats, either by creating obstacles for them to strike or by habitat degradation. The American Bird Conservancy is circulating a petition calling for mandatory standards for the wind industry to reduce the threat to birds and bats. The petition reads as follows:

Wind power is the fastest developing source of energy in the United States and can be an important part of the solution to climate change. However, wind farms can harm birds through collisions with turbines and associated structures, and through loss of habitat birds need for survival. These losses are largely avoidable. The solutions are within our reach.
I support bird-smart wind power that includes mandatory standards to minimize bird deaths and habitat impacts.
Bird-smart wind power:
1. Is carefully sited to avoid harm to birds
2. Uses best technology and best management practices to minimize harm to birds
3. Employs effective, federally reviewed and approved, site-specific, pre- and post-construction studies/assessments to assist with improved siting and operation, and to properly quantify impacts.
4. Compensates fully for unavoidable harm to birds caused by collisions with wind turbines or associated structures, and lost or degraded habitat.

If you agree with this, you can sign onto the petition here. The petition is a shortened version of ABC's policy statement on wind power, which provides more information about what they mean by each of those four points.

(via the ABA blog)