The fine folks at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seem to have gone all Viet Nam when it comes to saving endangered species such as the bald eagle.
You remember the bald eagle, right?
It was the plight of that majestic American national symbol, our beloved bird of prey, that provided the impetus for the adoption of the Endangered Species Act way back in 1973.
You remember the Endangered Species Act, right?
It’s the air tight, almost exceptionless federal law that requires the expenditure of millions and millions of dollars in Colorado to make sure the Preble’s Meadow Jumping Mouse precludes development, and that the Colorado pikeminnow still plies the grungy waters of the river of the same name.
Yup, the Endangered Species Act saves trash fish, plentiful rodents and national symbols without regard to their intrinsic value.
But now it seems the pals of our feathered friends at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have decided that, well, national symbol or not, no bird dumb enough to fly into the whirling blades of a wind turbine needs to be saved.
So, while Hillary Clinton will go all stoolpigeon on you should you find an eagle feather and offer it to her in a gesture of goodwill, you can kill all the national symbols you like if you do so in the process of creating “renewable energy,” such as with a wind turbine.
That’s right: The USFWS’s draft regulation would allow businesses to apply for 30-year permits that would let them kill bald eagles.
And you don’t have to turn them into mincemeat with whirling blades to catch a break. No sir, you can fry them too.
You see, solar projects are included in the exemption as well.
It seems, by the way, that the USFWS started to look into the killings of bald eagles early this year. Yup, wind turbines have been sprouting up for a decade and reports of eagle-versus-blade collisions cropped up shortly thereafter, but the astute crowd at USFWS evidently just got around to noticing it.
But back to the point: What does this have to do with Viet Nam?
Well, the Endangered Species Act is a creature of the crowd that alternately snickered at or was horrified that an unidentified U.S. Army officer supposedly said, in explaining an action in Viet Nam, that “We had to destroy the village in order to save it.”
So the windmill blade of fate has swung back around and now we learn that in order to save the bald eagle from the ravages of the fossil fuel economy, the FWS is authorizing its destruction.
Somewhere Ho Chi Minh is laughing.