President Trump,

Year Two of your Administration began just after rolling back protection for migratory birds, and declaring that the days of prosecuting oil, gas, wind, and solar operators that unintentionally kill birds are over. Did you know that before the rollback, hundreds of millions of birds were being killed annually?

Brown Pelican Dripping Oil                                               Brown Pelican
by Darryl Wheye (2012)                                      (Pelecanus occidentalis)
Pencil on Vellum, modified in Photoshop (2018)
30'' X 24''
Birds Link

It’s been estimated that turbine blades kill hundreds of thousands of birds, oil-waste pits kill up to a million, and power lines kill up to 175 million birds each year. From now on, with your Adminis-tration’s new regulations in place, birds accidentally colliding with blades, trapped in uncovered oil-waste pits or killed by unmarked transmission lines, etc., will no longer be the responsibility of the energy operators. It seems likely that the numbers will quickly increase.

The rollback is based on reinterpreting the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA). The MBTA had been used to apply fines after environmental disasters like the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill, when BP paid $100 million for violations. Those funds went to restoring wildlife habitat. Did you think that was a mistake?

Thanks so much for considering this perspective.

See also: Washington Post coverage 12/26/17
              LA Times coverage 2/14/18

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© Science Art-Nature
January 20, 2018