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California Condors versus Wind Farms

by AirTalk®

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A man rids his bike against the win as giant wind turbines are powered by strong winds at sunset on March 27, 2013 in Palm Springs, California. Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

In one corner, we have the California condor, one of the most endangered birds in the world that the Golden State has spent tens of millions of dollars to save from extinction. In the other corner, we have wind farms—a valuable alternative energy source in the state.

The Bureau of Land Management is considering giving a permit to the operators of Terra-Gen Power's wind farm in the Tehachapi Mountains, about 90 miles north of Downtown Los Angeles, which would exempt them from being prosecuted for any turbine-related condor deaths. The Endangered Species Act forbids the killing and harassing of California condors. The decision will be made at the end of May.

Should wind farms be exempted? Is the decision counter-intuitive, given the amount of money California has spent on sustaining the California condor population?


Kim Delfino, California Director at Defenders of Wildlife

Ashley Richmond, Director of Siting Policy at The California Wind Energy Association

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