If another golden eagle is killed a Technical Advisory Committee - comprised of biologists from federal and state agencies - will meet and make recommendations to the BLM about what mitigation to take, which could curtail operation of turbines or even shut down turbines.
The federal government's disparate treatment of various industries whose operations have resulted in the deaths of eagles or migratory birds has become an issue of late.
While the PRC acknowledged PNM's plan meets state law, Chairman Jason Marks said the question becomes whether an elected commission, trying to diversify the state's energy supply, has the discretion to order a utility to revise its business practices.
The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that an off-the-grid community is resisting the development of a wind farm just west of Taos, NM. Residents are concerned about health risks from low-frequency vibrations, flashing strobe lights, annoying shadows, turbines killing birds and bats, and landscape blight. However, a larger issue is at hand. ...Many residents in the Cielito Lindo subdivision of Taos, where homes rely primarily on solar energy, have vocalized their objections.
Must we wait until every tract of land from Kansas to California bristles with propeller-topped towers before wondering if there's a way to concentrate this new industry and consolidate transmission costs? Will we carpet the country in concrete-based wind farms only to discover more compact means of making and storing electricity?
Early in their development, long-bladed wind turbines were seen as threats to birds, especially migrating varieties used to crossing certain mountain passes. Now, in spite of technological improvements and efforts to keep their propellers off at critical times, lawsuits are descending on wind farms - working ones and some on the drawing boards - to turn them off or to stop development in the path of some birds' migration and in bat habitat.
But behind some environmentalist arguments against the increasing clusters of wind turbines is a more basic, if less compelling objection:
They're ugly. They can be noisy. Besides that, opponents wonder, how do we know they're not sending surges of electricity into the atmosphere, doing who-knows-what damage to animals, two- and four-legged alike?
What this will take is an Apollo-like program focused on new technologies and renewable energy resources.