Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY-1) spoke this morning on the floor of the House of Representatives. In his alloted five minutes, Whitfield mentioned three concerns he has over “a pattern of conduct in which this administration rewards its friends and punishes its opponents.” The first two issues were the IRS targeting conservative groups, and the EPA rejecting waiver of fees requests from conservative groups and individuals for FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests. The third issue relates to something else that smacks of hypocrisy and disregard for equal protection under the law.
I want to give you another example that came about yesterday. More than 573,000 birds are killed by the country’s wind farms each year, including 83,000 hunting birds such as hawks, falcons and eagles. Now nearly all the birds being killed are being protected under the federal environmental laws which prosecutors have used to generate tens of millions of dollars of fines and settlements from businesses including oil and gas companies, electricity generators over the past five years.
As a matter of fact, BP Oil Company was fined $100 million for killing and harming migratory birds during the 2010 Gulf Oil Spill. And PacifiCorp., which operates coal plants in Wyoming, paid more than $10.5 million in 2009 for electrocuting a number of eagles along power lines in its substations.
And yet this administration has never fined or prosecuted a wind energy company, even those that flout the law repeatedly. Instead, the government is shielding the industry from liability and helping keep the scope of the deaths secret. So there is clearly a double standard in this administration: if you kill an eagle and you happen to be a private business or you’re a power generator or you’re an oil company or a chemical company, you’re gonna be fined. But if you’re a wind energy company, even though the bird you killed may be protected under the Endangered Species Act, you’re gonna be protected.
America will not stand for a government that rewards its friends and punishes its opponents in a discriminatory fashion.
You have to wonder if the Administration also didn’t like this investigation by the AP:
It’s a double standard that some Republicans in Congress said Tuesday they would examine after an Associated Press investigation revealed that the Obama administration has shielded the wind power industry from liability and helped keep the scope of the deaths secret.
“We obviously don’t want to see indiscriminate killing of birds from any sort of energy production, yet the administration’s ridiculous inconsistencies begs questioning and clarity- clarity on why wind energy producers are let off the hook,” said Sen. David Vitter, R-La.
The House Natural Resources Committee, which was at the beginning stages of an investigation, vowed to dig deeper Tuesday.
“There are serious concerns that the Obama administration is not implementing this law fairly and equally,” said Jill Strait, a spokeswoman for the committee’s chairman, Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash.
Wind power, a pollution-free energy intended to ease global warming, is a cornerstone of President Barack Obama’s energy plan. His administration has championed a $1 billion-a-year tax break to the industry that has nearly doubled the amount of wind power in his first term….
Meanwhile, the Obama administration has proposed a rule that would give wind-energy companies potentially decades of shelter from prosecution for killing eagles. The regulation is currently under review at the White House.
The proposal, made at the urging of the wind-energy industry, would allow companies to apply for 30-year permits to kill a set number of bald or golden eagles. Previously, companies were only eligible for five-year permits.
Read the rest.