Yates councilman questions Apex claims about turbines and their threat to bald eagles
To continue my recent editorial: Apex Clean Energy attended the Clay County Iowa Supervisor’s Meeting on Tuesday, May 10, 2017 to discuss concerns raised regarding the Upland Prairie Wind Project currently proposed for Clay and Dickinson Counties in Iowa.
In addition to the presentation of Mr. Christopher Ollson, a presentation was also made by Mr. Dave Phillips, APEX Director of Wildlife and Environmental Permitting. You may remember Mr. Phillips as the person who has, many times, indicated there is no danger to the environment or to animals from the Lighthouse Wind Industrial Wind Turbine Emplacement Project. During his presentation to the Clay and Dickinson County Board of Supervisors, he indicated the following:
“There (are) very few bald eagle collision mortalities. In the course of the wind industry in the U.S. there’s only been 21 documented collision mortalities of bald eagles. … We have over 50,000 operating turbines in the U.S. so that’s really an astoundingly low number … and I’d rank eagles as a low risk species, simply because of their behavior. They tend to fly during the day, they’re not necessarily distracted when they’re flying around turbines, and the turbines are generally cited away from their preferred habitat, which in most parts involves open water. … The probability of eagles being killed is extremely low,” Phillips said.
Not sure where Mr. Phillips gets his data from. He does not give any reference to generally accepted data. As such, his indication that there have been only 21 confirmed eagle kills in the history of wind turbines is anecdotal at best. Trading anecdote for anecdote, I’ve personally seen pictures of more than 100 eagle kills and I didn’t really work that hard to get to the photos. Many photos, taken by those that will trespass onto property in order to get to the truth that the wind industry is not owning up to; turbines are killing significantly more eagles than the Wind Industry would like for us to believe.
Turbines kill a massive number of eagles for one simple reason: Unlike Mr. Phillips’ assertion that “They tend to fly during the day, they’re not necessarily distracted when they’re flying around turbines”, eagles do tend to fly during the day and the reason they are not distracted by turbines is that they never see their death coming. They fly with their eyes trained downward looking for prey and don’t see the turbine-blade coming to deal the death blow.
And then the coup-de-grace. Mr. Phillips stated the following in public when defending his data-less eagle soliloquy:
“…turbines are generally cited away from their preferred habitat, which in most parts involves open water. … The probability of eagles being killed is extremely low.”
Huh?!?! Then if APEX is so concerned about eagle kills, why are they proposing to site this project along the shores of the one of the largest surface freshwater areas on Earth, Lake Ontario??!?!
Where is the truth from APEX and their people? It is nowhere to be found, because they say whatever they need to say to gain support for their Industrial Wind Turbine Emplacement Projects.
In closing, we must remember that APEX is a business that believes Governor Cuomo and the State are on their side. As such, they will say and do anything to get their way. This is why Governor Cuomo and the State Siting Board must support the Towns of Yates and Somerset in stopping this project in its tracks…NOW!
Governor Cuomo are you listening?!
John B. Riggi
Councilman, Town of Yates