Open Chat... All Day, Every Day! Express Your Views, Debate, and Challenge the Views of Others!

In order to keep up with the nature of free, spirited debate, I wanted to place the chat feature at the top of the homepage. This ensures people can come here and share their views on anything they wish and not have it be related to any specific discussion. Here, people can share ideas, links, and views "unmoderated" and an their own pace. To me, this makes The Elephant in the Room blog truly a place for debate.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

READER'S POST #4 - Feds Propose Allowing Big Oil to Kill Golden Eagles

By: 32slim32

No, actually they don’t; they propose to allow big “green energy” to kill golden eagles (see story here: Amazingly, there hasn’t been any outrage in the media, at the National Wildlife Foundation, PETA, or at the World Wildlife Fund. But man, just imagine the outrage if big oil was given a permit to kill eagles.

When the BP oil spill happened in 2010 we saw the photos of oil drenched birds and turtles and heard all of the dire doomsday predictions for the Gulf of Mexico. It was tragic and terrible, don’t misunderstand me, however it was over sensationalized a little. For instance the NY Times reported that “more than 7,000 birds, sea turtles and dolphins have been found dead or debilitated in the gulf” (story at:

The NYT goes on to say that they are finding more dead animals than usual for that time of year. They also mention that a lot of the turtles they found were not oiled and they suspect that many of those turtles may have been drowned by shrimping nets. So of these “more than 7,000 birds, sea turtles, and dolphins”, not all of them were killed by the oil spill itself, but even if they were, that is far less than that what “big wind” kills every year. 

What’s that? There’s no way clean energy kills more than big oil. Let’s see. “Nationwide, about 440,000 birds are killed at wind farms each year, according to the Wildlife Service.”

Also, from the same LA Times story, “Federal authorities are investigating the deaths of at least six golden eagles at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's Pine Tree Wind Project in the Tehachapi Mountains, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Tuesday.” But that’s nothing really in comparison to the “67 golden eagles that die each year in Northern California's Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area”.

If the wind farms in Los Angeles and Altamonte Pass kill 73 eagles annually without a permit, how many more will the central Oregon wind farm kill with a permit?

Hey, here is an interesting thought. Let’s look at the amount of energy produced. The Gulf of Mexico was supplying our country with 15% to 18% of our oil daily, according to figures obtained at and  (page 18 of 25). While wind energy supplies our nation with 2.3% of our electricity generated. (source:

So, the source that supplied 15% to 18% of our oil had one catastrophic accident that killed over 7,000 animals, while the source that provides a staggering two percent of our electricity kills more than 440,000 birds every year with no catastrophes. Year in and year out, hundreds of thousands of song birds, eagles, hawks, and owls are slaughtered day after day in the name of “clean energy”, “green energy” and “saving the planet” while we lament over the 7,000 birds, turtles, and dolphins that died the year of the BP oil spill. 

I guess until one of those cute cuddly little polar bears gets killed by a wind mill we will not be hearing from the NWF or WWF. As long as no one tries to eat or use the feathers of the killed birds PETA will probably remain silent too. 

It seems like to me those shock and awe AP photographers would be better off setting up camp at the Northern California Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area and getting some photos of eagles, owls, and songbirds that have been beaten to death by a wind mill. Maybe since they aren’t oil soaked it isn’t enough shock and awe for them. I know, spend a week there and just pile all the birds in a pile and take a photo. It should even have at least one or two eagles in it since 67 are killed every year. 

Amazingly, the same Federal Government that is considering “kill permits” for golden eagles and “green energy” was looking to block oil and gas exploration over a lizard. (see story here: And they were attempting to block a water pipe line over a mouse. (

Boy this is kind of hard to figure out: a mouse and a lizard and we shut down production, but with an eagle we issue a kill permit. Excuse me, I just can’t help but laugh at the idiocy. 

It really is amazing what appalls the left and what just simply doesn’t bother them.  

What do you think? Do you see this as hypocrisy of the media and the left? Are you shocked that the NWF, WWF, and PETA are silent this?  Why do we only see oiled up animals and not one photo of the nearly half a million birds killed each year by “clean energy”?

Disclaimer from The Elephant in the Room: The article posted above is the work of a blog reader, not an owner of the blog. In promoting an open forum blog, and believing that the passing of information is the reason we exist, we happily post most readers' work with little editing. While the article does appear on our blog, the owners of The Elephant in the Room did not write this article, and posting this article on our blog does not imply endorsement of the ideas and opinions expressed in the article. If you would like us to post your work, please submit it to


  1. To 32slim32 - You know, you do a darned good job with these. I've followed this blog since it started. I come for the insight in the posts, and now I come to see your posts too. This is a great piece you wrote about and thank you for giving links and information about your point. Love it. I has inspired me to write some of my own. I will be sending some in.

    To LME - Thank you for opening up the blog in this way. It's a great way to collect ideas from all sorts of people while giving everyone the chance to speak their mind to a mass audience. Thank you so much.

  2. Marian Glenning....thank you for your kind words. I saw that story Wednesday on (after the Iowa Caucus)and could not believe the lack of attention that story received.

  3. 32slim, I too like your style. I'm glad you're here. This blog is a great source of numerous things, namely, the real facts behind things like the unemployment rate, progressive taxes, tax rates and so forth. You seem to take on the media and you do a good job at standing by what you say. Keep it up, I look forward to more! I too might start writing in.

  4. • The Bureau of Land Management is using stimulus funds to study the impact wind farms have on the sage grouse population in Oregon.

    This was some of the wasteful spending high lights in 2009, wonder how the study came out??

  5. @32slim32 Great post, thanks! To date, I've seen only one story (on Fox) where an environmentalist spoke out against these wind farm bird kills. She DID show dead, mutilated birds - most of them raptors. Bats, great natural pest controllers, are also killed.

    Solar farms cover hundreds of acres of desert lands as well, effectively destroying those environments. Even the driest of lakebeds supports life, uniquely suited to thrive in those environs.

    I wrote to my R Senator with regard to this plant and one other by the same company - farther north in the state.(Incidentally - Nancy Pelosi and her family invested heavily in these NEVADA solar farms, which, to date, have received 235 million dollars in Govt. bucks.)

    Years ago, Dell Webb Corporation sought to build a new Sun City community West of Las Vegas. The area was a known Desert Tortoise breeding ground.

    The solution was an attempt to relocate the tortoises to an area near Seachlight which was THEN closed to grazing (along with a million dollar govt. subsidy to one of Harry Reid's old buddies in his home town.)

    There was even talk about building 'enclosures' to keep the tortoises in (no joke!)

    Didn't work and many were subsequently rounded up and destroyed. The 'official' explaination? Tortoise Flu! A lie.. it was a massive coverup - and what's a few critters anyway when there are politicians who can be bought off?

    There is BIG money in wind and solar - it's expensive, and heavily subsidized by We the People.

    All this destruction, for .02% of our power supply.

    The scheme is to boost that to 20% by 2030... at what cost to our raptor population?

    My take: This hysterical 'sustainable energy' push is NOT penny wise; absolutely pound foolish.

  6. Dara and 32slim32 - Awesome! This is what it's all about! I didn't even know it was 0.02% of the power supply, and to slim... of course the liberal media isn't going to publish this. I love how you're always challenging.

    The passing of information is the best part!

  7. WOW!!! Interesting article and supporting articles that raise interesting points. Let me first say that I am a big supporter of green energy. I am willing to accept some (don't know to what extent) collateral damage to keep the air clean for everyone (a point you left out in your article - how many people and animals have the oil/gas industries contributed to the deaths and sicknesses of due to their largely unregulated polluting ways?).

    We should also keep in mind that the BP spill happened due to lack of oversight (basically, Halliburton stated that everything was installed correctly and a permit was issued based on that). It was also in an environmentally sensitive area that allowed the accident to spiral into catastrophe. The same cannot be said about wind turbines... If on had an epic fail, it is inconceivable that there would be an ongoing environmental issue. The BP spill also has not had a total cost yet. There is still enormous amounts of oil still at the bottom of the gulf ( and the toll of that has yet to be calculated but, in the end, I believe the cost will be enormous and will last decades. The government is, in my opinion, covering for the oil companies mainly to cover their own asses (they allowed the use of that dispersant without any idea how it would affect the oil or the environment). The 440k number is alarming but I'd like to see it broken down as to the types of birds and the circumstances as it does matter, to me at least. Another point is that the birds being killed one by one by the blades are not the same thing as destroying an entire ecosystem. The blades might be able to be painted a different color that will deter the birds or be made to make sound that would act likewise. What do you do to mitigate environmental disaster? Go ask the folks in New Orleans and Alaska (Exxon-Valdez) what the impact of an oil spill is on their livelihoods (another impact that lacks with wind turbines). Another point you fail to recognize is that oil has been around forever while wind is a new source of energy (thus the small %). I assume they will continue to work out the kinks to make it more environmentally friendly. Another point you miss, and that is mentioned in one of your articles, is that many many birds die annually from planes, buildings, radio towers, etc. Are you against those things as well?

    Your article seems to be concerned about the welfare of the animals. If that is the case then you should also be against the bird killing devices I mentioned above. If it's about oil vs clean energy then I wonder why you are so adverse to something that provides energy but does nothing to pollute the air we both breathe. Further, if it is about oil v clean, you are not comparing apples to apples (unless you want to revise and discuss a land based oil platform). Again, I am concerned about the numbers but need more information to see if they are enough to deter my support.

    In my opinion, oil is the past and green/renewable energy is the future. We can replace ALL oil with substitues. Oil itself can be made from corn, soy or hemp (among others) and fuel can be made from any number of cleaner or clean fuels. We need gov't to spend the money on those alternatives rather than fattening the pockets of the oil and gas industries that continue to rape the end users of their products (not to mention to facilitate this whole national security thing everyone likes to talk about when it is convenient).

    In either case, it is the lack of government oversight that allows both of the examples you've used to occur. I believe though that it will be easier to fix the turbine issue than the issues cause by oil in the water.

  8. Whatsamattausa - Thanks for writing. I wish I had a more educated opinion on this issue, but I don't... yet.

    I'm not sure, however, but 32slim32's main point was how the media was handling it. I could be totally wrong, though. To whichever way he is writing his post, I do think it's well written. You too do make some good points. I can actually see both sides on this. But that's okay... after studying nuclear engineering for four years, I'm a big fan of nuclear power :-)

    But again, I wish I could contribute to this debate more... I typically don't comment on things I know nothing about. But that's okay... hopefully this blog is bringing people and their ideas together. Thanks to all, looking forward to more!

  9. I'm really new to this site and I really like how you back up what you say with actual fact. You also have good diversity.Keep up the good work.

  10. Whatsamattausa....thanks for your reply. If you will recall we were told about "oil soaked hurricanes", devastation of the entire eco system, death to the tourism industry and death for the fishing industry for the gulf states.

    Ironically, most of the liberal doomsday predictions never come to pass. For instance, environmental alarmists in the 1970's told us we were heading for an ice age, we were headed for mass starvation by the mid 1980's, that we would have to be wearing gas masks everywhere we went by the mid '80's, and we would be out of gasoline (oil) by the 1990's. So please forgive me when I don't believe your dire forecasts.

    The biggest thing you fail to recognize, whatsamatta, is that there currently are about 45 wind farms in the US. Increasing that number is just going to increase the number of murdered birds. Wind is 2.3% of our energy and kills over 440,000 birds per year. Now when you increase the number of windmills you increase the dead bird count. It appears that for every 1% of wind energy, we kill about 200,000 birds per year. To increase wind to where it is say 20%, the number of murdered birds would likely increase to about 4.4 Million per year.

    Anyway, how can you accept some collateral damage from wind but are repulsed by the oil spill collateral damage? The year before that spill, 440,000 birds were butchered and nothing died in the ocean because of oil. Also, do you realize how much more 440,000 is than 7,000? For instance, it would take 62 BP oil spills to equal one year of clubbing birds with windmills.

    And, NO, I didn't miss the part where "...that many many birds die annually from planes, buildings, radio towers, etc. Are you against those things as well?" First, that was a spokesman for the wind energy association. Second, I notice that you left out his cute little quip about the household cat. I don't know we if we can know for sure about his claim, but even if it were true, aren't there considerably more planes, towers, buildings, power lines, and cats than those 45 or so windmills that kill nearly half a million songbirds and federally protected birds each year?

    Another thing to think about. I have driven a car for over 20 years. I believe I have hit two maybe three birds in all that time (them stupid squirrels are another story though, I have found it's best to slow down and aim FOR them, you swerve to miss them and they will run the way you cut). That, whatsammata, is an acceptable amount of collateral damage. 440,000 dead birds from 45 (might be 46) wind farms is a little over the top.

    Do I care about the birds? Honestly, not all of them. If it were 440,000 crows per year, I'd cheer that (LOL). The eagles, hawks, owls, grouse, quail, and songbirds are another story though. In fact, I love watching red tail hawks soar. They are just mesmerizing to me. Not too many eagles around my parts.

    That oil being "the past" may sound good to you when you say it but it isn't true. Oil is "the PRESENT" not the past. To prove my point, what is your primary method of transportation? Does it run on oil (or coal if electric) or solar / wind?

    Lack of government oversight? Oversight, like those Securities Exchange Commission guys watching porn while the financial system collapsed? Or were you referring to some other utopian government oversight?

  11. @32slim32 -

    I'm not sure what 'forecasts' I personally made so please explain!

    I don't fail to recognize the number of wind farms. What I do recognize is that it is a relatively new technology and needs to be improved. If it cannot be improved then that's a different story. It seems you'd like to kill it after it's initial roll out. Again, the number of animal fatalities is alarming but more, for me, needs to be known - type of bird, how they were killed, etc.

    I am repulsed by the oil spill for a number of reasons. The corruption that permitted the rig to be occupied without any inspections to confirm that the construction was done in a manner that would ensure it was done properly. I am also repulsed by the allowed use of the untested (or tested to an insufficient degree) toxic dispersants. I am also repulsed by the oil still sitting at the bottom of the gulf (and perhaps into the ocean).

    As far as birds flying into things, I can tell you that my folks have a house with several large, glass windows and we'll find dead birds in front of them several times a year so I tend to believe the theory of birds flying into static structures. Here are some dated stats from 1994 - It is estimated that each year, 57 million birds die in collisions with vehicles; 1.25 million in
    collisions with tall structures (towers, stacks, buildings); and more than 97.5 million in collisions
    with plate glass. (this from Kenetech Windpower Avian Research Program Update). These numbers seem over the top to me but I'm not calling for the suspension in construction of high rise and/or glass buildings, are you?

    As you mentioned, of the 440,000 how many are crows, pigeons, etc. (birds we consider pests)? I actually do care about those birds. In a perfect world, we'd lose zero birds but that's not realistic. So the question becomes what is acceptable. Also, it is easy to count birds as, when they are killed, they lie on the ground. What about the coral and crabs and shrimp, etc. etc. that cannot be counted in the BP spill? What about the continued deterioration of the ecosystem as the leftover oil and dispersants continue to kill it? These are casualties you are not accounting for but rather you seem to take the 'out of sight, out of mind'approach. The death toll, according to the following article, could have been underestimated by 50 fold -

    As far as oil being the past, I am not naive enough to think that it is the past today but it cannot sustain the planet into the future and, since the technology and knowledge base are there, it only takes funding to move to a cleaner/clean fuel.

    By gov't oversight, I'm talking about the permitting and inspection process that you and I are both subject to if we want to make changes to our houses. We don't have the luxury of giving a 'trust me' like Halliburton did. If the gov't can't inspect for safety than they shouldn't permit it. As for the wind farms, the gov't should have required a study prior to issuing the permit (I'm a real estate developer and I need to submit numerous studies before I can build). Gov't oversight wouldn't be the end all/be all of everything but it certainly would ensure that the best interests of the people and environment are being protected!

  12. @slim and whatsamattusa - Great exchange!

    Here's a graph that states the amount of oil seepage - from ALL sources - into our oceans that I think is relevant to this conversation.

    As far as the viability of wind energy here's another interesting link. You'll note that the Netherlands are in the process of closing down a majority of their wind turbines - due to dependability, environmental, and cost issues.

    These three show the impact of wind farms on the lives and happiness of our avian friends.

    One article points out that bats are even more susceptible from the blades AND the backflow of air and highlights the impact on our crops due to wind farm related bat kills.

    'Out of sight, out of mind' seems to be the ONLY approach with regard to the construction of wind and solar farms - as those pushing for them for the most part a) tend to live in big cities b)are almost totally dependant on a dependable power source and c)generally use power at a much higher rate.

    We, out here in the sticks, get accustomed to living without power, sometimes for extended periods. We also see the end result, first hand, of such limited thinking.

    Having lived (literally) in the shadow of all three, I have personally seen MUCH less damage in the footprints and environmental impact of land based oil derricks - than with wind and solar.

    The same goes for nuclear, by far the cleanest, cheapest (per kilowatt hr.) safest, and most thoroughly regulated form of power - which due to hysterical environmentalists and others - we haven't even been allowed to build for the past 20 years.

    Even hydrolic power is NOT dependable. Lake Mead/Hoover Dam, on the Colorado River and the main power source for NV and MOST of southern California, is today, at it's lowest point in its history.

    Although Southern NV has not one, but TWO, solar facilities - Sierra Nevada Power is still forced to supplement - with coal and oil.

    While I would love to install solar with battery storage, for backup in my own home - and a nice windmill to run my well... I can't afford them, at the time.

    The Government, however, forces tax dollars from me -going to Wind and Solar companies, who've NOT done their homework - resulting in some VERY unpleasant unintended consequences. With a lower production rate at a much higher cost per kilowatt hour to boot!

    "Energy costs will necessarily skyrocket," Barack Obama 2008.

    As for Global Warming/Climate Change or whatever they're calling it this week, I refuse to take sides (it gets me into trouble)

    That said, I sometimes wonder...had the Earth's climate NOT changed, countless times, down through the ages - would we be dodging T-Rex's, rather than squirrels on our way to work (on foot)... and might our fossil fuel still be on the hoof, roaming freely through our neighborhoods? : )

    Great post ya'll!

  13. @Dara - Good stuff!

    I wonder though about how valid it is. As an example, how can they tell what is natural seepage vs extraction being that many of the wells are in water too deep to send people. I assume they can tell by the make up and/or consistency of the oil. What really grabbed me in the 1st article/graph you posted are the significant differences between North America and the World in natural seepage and oil from transportation. As a percentage, the NA #'s are much lower than those of the World. Though no proof, I've a feeling the NA #'s are faulty just based on the World #'s.

    The 2nd article was very informative. I tend to believe that the construction aspect is ultimately a wash no matter what kind of power generator you're building (unless it's something like a solar farm). Nuclear plants use an immense amount of concrete and large building require large footers. I also tend to disagree with the noise aspect. I've stood about 100 feet from a turbine moving pretty fast and couldn't hear a sound (the farm was up near the thumb region of MI - near Bad Axe (yes, there is a town in MI named Bad Axe)). That was a couple of years ago and the article does mention technological improvements that mitigate the noise.

    Really, the most compelling thing for me was the capacity at which they operate. Highly inefficient though I think technology and practical knowledge will help increase the efficiency.

    Thanks for the post and the links. I appreciate the knowledge and discussion!