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Reader questions wind power

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Posted: Wednesday, June 29, 2011 3:12 pm

Earlier this month, I wrote a story about a local resident who started a company installing wind turbines, most recently in Rio Vista.

In response to the article, I received an e-mail from reader Ed Miller questioning the installation of wind turbines because there is research indicating that birds, including endangered species, have died after getting caught in the blades.

Here is what he had to say:

"I was disappointed that the article was not balanced and continued to promote the myth of the "goodness" of wind power versus conventional methods. As the articles in the below string of emails point out, wind turbines can be deadly to birds and bats. While politicians have no trouble turning-off the water to the Central Valley to allegedly save an endangered minnow, they continue to encourage installation and operation of wind turbines that are killing-off endangered birds such as the Golden Eagle."

He also added:

"To be clear, I am not belittling Mr. Swearingten or his accomplishments, only that the "green" technologies are not without risk to the environment and are not ready for "prime time." Our approach must have balance. Remember, DDT was banned because of its alleged impact on birds. As a youngster who believed the hype and the lie, I am now very cautious about the environmentalist agenda and claims."

Miller also included some links to several articles. He especially pointed to the following facts:

• U.S. wind turbines kill an estimated 75,000 to 275,000 birds per year, according to Michael Fry of the American Bird Conservancy.

• The Altamont Pass turbines kill yearly, 75 to 100 golden eagles, 350 borrowing owls, 300 rat-tailed hawks, and 333 American kestrels, according to the Golden Gate Audubon Society

Thanks to Ed for the additional information and article links. 

I always appreciate reader feedback and additional information on any story that I write, so please always feel free to contact me at