Green Power Collides with Endangered Species

The greens are getting a taste of their own medicine. For years, they have used the Endangered Species Act to regulate use of private and public property around the nation, and now one species listing could undermine one of their sacred cows: green power. A story in today’s Land Letter, highlights the fact that windmill operations in Wyoming—which are subsidized by the feds under the global warming agenda of the Obama Administration as embodied in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act–may imperil the sage grouse. The Department of Interior is considering a listing of the bird, which could throw a wrench into federally subsidized development of a network of windmills on key sage grouse territory in Wyoming. According to the Land Letter, 54 percent reside of sage grouse population reside in Wyoming.

This story is quite ironic for two reasons. First is the green’s push for windmills is futile. It won’t save the world from global warming even if all the greens dire predictions about global warming were true, which of course is a huge assumption. Second, the greens are finally being caught in their own snares. CEI has shown over the years how the Endangered Species Act had been used to ensnare property owners all around the nation, costing billions of dollars, while it has achieved little to actually help species.

It’s time to look for new approaches in both areas. See for information on that issue. On the species front, a much better approach would be to make species an asset not a liability by allowing people to own them and by removing punitive aspects of the law. Currently the act punishes anyone for doing anything (including farming, ranching, or construction) that might affect endangered species on their property. Accordingly, no one wants to have these species on their property! So rather than cultivate them, they make property less habitable for them. Even conservation efforts can be considered a crime. The punitive regulatory approach of the law is not good for species and not good for people. We made this case many years ago, but lawmakers continue to get it wrong.

Photo coursey of Raymond Shobe.