AWEA files comments on "unworkable" U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service guidelines
AWEA filed detailed comments with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) today on two sets of proposed avian guidelines for wind power development, calling the draft regulations "unworkable." The full story is available in the AWEA website pressroom.
On the first proposal, the "Draft Land-Based Wind Energy Guidelines," AWEA urged a return to a set of consensus guidelines worked out during a two-and-a-half-year Federal Advisory Committee process by representatives of the wind industry, wildlife conservation groups, and other stakeholders.
* In addition to its own filing, AWEA also joined with Defenders of Wildlife, the National Audubon Society, the Sierra Club, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and the Massachusetts Audubon Society to file joint comments that echoed support for the Federal Advisory Committee recommendations.
* The Governors' Wind Energy Coalition also weighed in with a similar stance, with Coalition Chair Gov. Lincoln Chafee (I-RI) and Vice-Chair Gov. Terry Branstad (R-IA) commenting in part, “We support the responsible development of the nation’s energy resources, but we are concerned that the FWS’s proposed guidelines on land-based wind energy development and eagle conservation guidance, if adopted, would put at risk many wind energy projects without achieving benefits beyond those available from previously developed guidelines.”
* AWEA said more than 12,000 individuals also submitted comments supporting its positions.
Commented AWEA CEO Denise Bode, “The wind energy industry has a long and proud history of environmental responsibility.In fact, the wind energy industry has voluntarily agreed to hold itself to a higher standard for wildlife study, mitigation and protection than any other industry in the country. Unfortunately, the USFWS proposals in their current form do not represent a reasonable balance between the important and complementary goals of wildlife conservation and deployment of non-polluting energy.”