Is White House too easy on green energy firms?

May 19, 2013 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

President Obama’s support of green energy projects has resulted in some legendary failures that are responsible for the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funds.

Solyndra, the Northern California solar panel company, received $529 million from the federal government. Today, it is out of business.

Fisker Automotive asked for and received some $200 million to develop a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. Fisker’s vehicles operated off a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, with an estimated range of 300 miles. Fisker manufactured 2,700 vehicles, but sold only 2,000. The company has laid off 75 percent of its employees and has not built a car for about a year.

Not all of the Obama administration’s green blunders have involved giving large chunks of taxpayer dollars to risky businesses that failed. Some bureaucrats within the administration just ignore federal law when it conflicts with their green objectives.

Associated Press reporter Dina Cappiello reported last week that “wind farms in this corner of Wyoming (Converse County) have killed more than four dozen golden eagles since 2009, one of the deadliest places in the country of its kind.

“But so far, the companies operating industrial-sized turbines here and elsewhere that are killing eagles and other protected birds have yet to be fined or prosecuted — even though every death is a criminal violation.

“The Obama administration has charged oil companies for drowning birds in their waste pits, and power companies for electrocuting birds on power lines. But the administration has never fined or prosecuted a wind-energy company, even those that flout the law repeatedly.”

Ms. Cappiello reported that the Wildlife Society Bulletin stated in March that more than 573,000 birds are killed by the country’s wind farms each year, including 83,000 hunting birds such as hawks, falcons and eagles.

The story noted that wind farms frequently have hundreds of 30-story turbines turning huge blades that reach speeds up to 170 miles per hour at the tips, “creating tornado-like vortexes.”

Birds of prey generally are looking down for food and don’t notice the blades.

“Eagle deaths have forced the Obama administration into a difficult choice between its unbridled support for wind energy and enforcing environmental laws that could slow the industry’s growth,” she wrote.

“Under both the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, the death of a single bird without a permit is illegal,” the story stated.

She notes, however, that under new guidelines developed by the Obama administration, the wind companies are held to a “different standard” than other companies.

“The government also declared that senior officials in Washington, many of whom are political appointees, must approve any wind-farm prosecution,” the story stated, noting that law enforcement agents in the field normally file charges for alleged violations and do not have to wait for approval from Washington.

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