The Obama administration is trying out new bird protection laws, pulling in a cool million in fines from an energy company responsible for murdering 14 golden eagles — a federal crime — with its wind turbines.
The $1 million settlement against Duke Energy Co. is the first time the government has exercised these particular Migratory Bird Treaty Act rules against a wind power company. But, similar fines have been levied in recent years against oil and power companies responsible for drowning or electrocuting birds.
The settlement concerned two Duke Energy wind farms in Wyoming, two of the deadliest farms in the area. In addition to the fine, the Charlotte, NC-based company will have to employ scientists to shut down turbines when eagles are spotted, as well as implement radar technology similar to the missile-tracking technology used in Afghanistan.
Even so, the settlement probably won't have much of a deterring effect — the Duke Energy Co., which operates wind farms under its renewable energy arm, has a market cap of $50 billion.
Of the $1 million, $400,000 will go to a wetlands conservation fund, $100,000 to Wyoming, and the rest to anti-eagle death projects.
[image via AP]