In early May 2016, a number of alarmist blog posts reported that President Obama had issued a “kill order” allowing more than 4,000 bald eagles to be slaughtered each year for the next 30 years. A popularversion published by Liberty Writers was heavy-handed with symbolism, maintaining that President Obama “really hates” bald eagles:
Bald Eagles are one of the most enduring symbols of being American. They are a majestic bird of prey. They were on the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife until 2007, but were just removed by Obama. They have been endangered for decades, but Obama thinks it’s okay to allow their slaughter.
*** Wasn’t he satisfied with killing America already?
Obama doesn’t have any issues destroying America. Now, he wants to take down our national symbols. He has also approved the handing out of permits to wind farms that have killed off thousands of Bald Eagles. Obama is doing this in the name of “conservation.” He and his liberal friends at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service are giving out 30-year-permits to wind farms like candy. He really hates the Bald Eagle.
*** No, really. Wait till you see how the are getting killed by the thousands.
The basis of this claim was something rather different than what sites such as Liberty Writers were reporting, however. As an ABCNews article of 4 May 2016 noted, what has been widely described as a “kill order” for bald eagles is actually revisions to existing wind-energy guidelines that, in part, pertain to accidental bald and golden eagle deaths involving wind turbines. According to the revised guidelines, the time permit of limits granted to wind power companies would be extended from five to 30 years (with renewals still required every five years), and the number of eagles that could permissibly (i.e., without financial penalty) be killed or injured each year by wind power companies would be increased. However, wind power companies would be required to take steps to minimize such losses and would have to take additional measures if they exceeded the stated limits or substantially affected bald or gold eagle populations:
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed a new plan that would allow energy companies to operate with permits lasting up to 30 years, while also raising the number of bald eagles they can kill or injure per year without incurring hefty penalties to 4,200, which is nearly four times the current limit.
A source within the Obama administration said this is the best plan put forward to actually help conservation efforts, maintaining this new proposal is a “strong protection” for bald and golden eagles.
Currently, wind power companies can hold permits for five years at a time, which, according to the source, doesn’t give companies good financial footing. By extending the permit to 30 years, it can encourage the development of wind energy, a key source of renewable power that has increased exponentially in recent years. The 30-year permits would still have to be reviewed every five years, and companies would have to submit reports of how many eagles they kill or injure.
The proposal will grant access to critical data about eagles, the source said. It will also allow the administration to work with companies in where the companies place their machines — hopefully to help avoid possible eagle populations.
“The permitting system gives us access to eagles and eagle mortalities that we wouldn’t otherwise have,” the source said. “It’s a great mechanism for us to work proactively to prevent eagle deaths.”
Under the new proposal, companies would pay a $36,000 fee for a permit, which exempts them from the hefty penalties for killing or injuring eagles. Companies would have to c