Your tax dollars in action: Killing birds and bats by the thousands

Some self-styled environmentalists love to boast about their efforts to save rare animals from the ravages of grazing cattle, oil and gas exploration, mining and off-road recreation, not to mention the planet itself from global warming. They are willing to spend any amount of your money to make it happen.

So, please pay no attention to the stories out today about wind turbines near Ely killing bats or the thermal solar plants just across the border in Invanpah scorching birds in flight.

The 66 turbines at the Spring Valley wind farm killed 566 bats in 2013, according to today’s Las Vegas newspaper. To mitigate this slaughter, the wind farm operators have agreed to raise the turbines’ “cut-in” wind speed from 7 mph to 11 mph. The bats apparently don’t fly as often in higher speed winds.

That will mean the turbines will operate even less often, even though in 2013 they operated only 18.8 percent of the time, one of the lowest ratios in the country, according to Wind Action. But fear not for the owners. They are paid 9.8 cents per kWh by NV Energy, about three times the cost of natural gas-fired electricity. The state has a renewable power portfolio standard that requires NV Energy to obtain 25 percent of its power from renewables by 2025. And the wind company gets a 2.2-cent per kWh production tax credit from federal taxes. Ratepayers and taxpayers make it profitable to kill bats.

Meanwhile, The Associated Press has picked up on a story reported by The Wall Street Journal in February.

Bright Source solar mirrors at Ivanpah power plant.

It is reported that federal wildlife officials went to the BrightSource Energy thermal solar plant in Ivanpah this past year and observed birds being scorched by focused rays of the sun — at temperatures approaching 1,000 degrees — an average of one every two minutes. Some of the birds streamed to the ground, leaving a contrail of smoke.

Bright Source estimated it kills 1,000 birds a year, but the Center for Biological Diversity estimates the number is closer to 28,000.

Ivanpah received a $1.6 billion loan, guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Energy. Your tax dollars cooking birds.

Bright Source wants to build more solar thermal plants but some have suggested they use photovoltaic panels instead.

Well, it turns out water fowl sometimes think those are water and try to land. Some are killed on impact. Others can’t take flight unless they are in water.

Never mind the number of species killed on the ground when thousands of acres are leveled for panels, mirrors and wind turbines.

As for saving the planet, there has been no warming of the globe in 17 years.

Sen. Harry Reid opposed Yucca Mountain, though nuclear hasn’t killed many animals. He opposed coal, also fairly safe, but he is all for solar and wind projects paving over the desert.

Sometimes an environmentalist can’t win.

20 comments on “Your tax dollars in action: Killing birds and bats by the thousands

  1. Steve says:

    I suspect Hairy Weed had those plans for windmills changed so his property value would not be affected just as he was getting ready to sell his lands in Searchlight.

    On a side note, the desert is the greenest I have seen it this time of year along the way to Bullhead City.

  2. Robert says:

    Thomas, you continue to stun me with your pithy, accurate and brilliant writings! Your lifetime of experience and plain old common sense outshines all those peers who pretend to be journalists!

    So, BLM and EPA leaders, do you ever read this kind of truth? What kind of “scientists” are you that you can ignore the obvious?

    Are you so politically corrupted you cannot understand that saving the lives of millions of bats and birds over the lifetimes of these seriously flawed sun and wind power generators vs. such things as the extremely remote possibility of a very few desert tortoises might get stepped on by a few cattle or other large animals?

    Even if you choose to love a few turtles more than millions of bats and birds, what about the ecco benefits of those bats and birds to society? Why are BLM and EPA and other government agencies so blinded by their own self-serving agenda they cannot see what the global impacts are, and will be from wind and solar power systems?

    The image of the Ostrich with his head under the sand is how BLM, EPA and other government agencies should be characterized and depicted in the future.

  3. Rincon says:

    So when did Conservatives start to care about wildlife? Oh well…I still have to point out that worrying about the deaths of birds and bats from wind and solar sources is like a cigarette smoker worrying about pesticide residues in his food. If you really care about the little birdies, the first thing you would do is exterminate feral cats and paste silhouettes of raptors on windows, since these kill hundreds and perhaps thousands of times more birds.

    As for the bats, you’re worrying about 566 of them vs. the 5.5 MILLION that have died from white nose fungus. As soon as the fungus kills ’em all, you can celebrate, because then the EPA can’t protect them anymore.

  4. Steve says:

    Ahh, I see.
    Because other things kill far more of them it is perfectly fine to kill more of them,,,as long as it is a libby accepted purpose.

  5. Bill McGee says:

    Water FOWL …

  6. Winston Smith says:

    World officially coming to an end: I agree with something Ralston said…

    Is Sebelius next?

  7. Athos says:

    Rumor has it that Harry Greid is opening a specialty restaurant that serves squab and bat soup!

  8. Rincon says:

    Gimme a break Steve. Autos kill a lot of birds too. Are you suggesting that we ban the automobile? Cost and benefit. Keeping our cats outdoors is high cost, low benefit. Allowing wind turbines to kill a far smaller number is a far lower cost, although I’m sure you would argue that there’s no benefit. We’ll let the voters decide that.

  9. Steve says:

    To “sell” the idea of “green” power the mark’s are told only the rosiest of rosy stories.
    Once reality hits, those same “marks” defend the the bullshit they bought to the very end else they look like the dummies they were from the very start.

    Lucky for us, Obama’s carbon tax failed to be realized. Windmill do kill birds. Concentrated solar does kill birds. PV simulates watersheds. Currently we have only a small percentage of these needed to have real effect, hence those kill numbers are still small. Good thing we found out early huh? Don’t you wish we found out about dumping in rivers and lakes this fast?
    Lets incentivize real research into positive possibilities.
    Solar Roadways has some very interesting numbers backing them up. Tesla would appear ready to couple with an inductive charging idea to keep the battery topped off while driving on such a roadway.

    Meanwhile those crazy Europeans are trying to hide their dirty little secret.

    Got some Carbon certs,,,,cheap…meet around back! We take food stamps!

  10. I just find it amusing that the technology that the “greens” insist we subsidize is killing off their precious little creatures.

  11. Rincon says:

    Looks like high voltage power lines kill 15-20 times the number of birds as wind turbines. Time for decentralized photovoltaic! Glad you agree with me 🙂

    I suspect that with their weather, the efficiency of German solar power is perhaps half of that attainable in the desert. In addition, their best average wind speed is about 16 miles per hour, while Texas has over 100 counties for which it’s greater.–average-wind-speed–county-rank.htm
    Given these figures, anything happening in Germany does not translate to our situation.

  12. Steve says:

    Not Germany. The EU.
    Way to miss the sales tactic.

  13. Athos says:

    So Solyndra never happened, right?

    And Rory2012 (Greid’s kid) never beat the taxpayers out of $20 million?

    And Tesla didn’t build their taxpayer subsidized cars in Europe instead of Deleware?

    And Pinocchio wouldn’t have profitted from the CXX?

    “Suckers are born every minute!”

  14. Rincon says:

    Sorry Steve. The fact that Germany has helped the Europeans to meet their CO2 goals isn’t bad news. The goals were never binding anyway. All they have to do is raise their goals and the eastern power plants will have to change. Besides, the Europeans emit vastly less CO2 per person than we do. Scandal? What scandal?

  15. […] shimmering towers that are the focus of an array of mirrors and squint to try to catch a glimpse of a smoking bird plummeting to earth, cooked in the 800-degree heat that also boils water and generates a bit of […]

  16. […] but that wind farm has only 13 employees — not sure how many of those jobs involve picking up bird carcasses. Nor does he mention that it is operating at only 18 percent of […]

  17. […] reported earlier, those superheated focused sun rays are killing birds by the thousands, and things haven’t […]

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