Wind turbine giant Duke Energy lobbies to gut Migratory Bird Treaty Act

dead eagle at base of turbineAudubon Society
In early June the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Fiscal Year 2016 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill—with a sneak attack on birds attached. The bill included an amendment prohibiting the use of Department of Justice funds to prosecute or hold liable any person or corporation for a violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. If it becomes law, anyone could kill birds with impunity, with no risk of jail time or even fines. It would decimate one of the most successful pieces of conservation legislation in history.

Audubon has obtained documents linking Duke Energy, the largest electric utility in the country, to the amendment, which was sponsored by Representative Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.). Duke’s renewable energy division had been the first green power company to be prosecuted under the MBTA, pleading guilty in 2013 to the deaths of more than 150 protected birds, including 14 Golden Eagles, at two wind farms in Wyoming, and forking over $1 million in fines.

In the wake of that guilty plea, Duke, which has contributed $23,000 to Duncan’s political campaigns, apparently began deploying its considerable resources and political muscle to undo the very law it had violated, paying at least $60,000 in 2014 to The Majority Group, LLC, a lobbying firm with offices on D Street in Washington, D.C. On the “lobbying report” it was required to file, Majority Group recorded one purpose of its efforts as “Amending the Migratory Birds Treaty Act and Bald and Gold Eagle Protection Act to address accidental avian deaths.” A staff member in Duncan’s office confirmed that the Congressman has discussed amending the MBTA with Duke Energy but did not confirm or deny that Majority Group lobbied Duncan on the energy company’s behalf. Read article

52 thoughts on “Wind turbine giant Duke Energy lobbies to gut Migratory Bird Treaty Act

  1. Pingback: Wind turbine giant Duke Energy lobbies to gut Migratory Bird Treaty Act | Ontario Wind Resistance | ajmarciniak

  2. I can’t find this amendment – in the documentation
    – to have a proper look.

    Audubon objects to this?
    ‘[excerpt] The bill included an amendment prohibiting the use of Department of Justice funds to prosecute or hold liable any person or corporation for a violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.’

    Did Audubon forget about
    the Obama’s administration – 30 year permit – to kill
    – and make things better!

    So then maybe Audubon is upset because
    the amendment has the word ‘person’
    in it?

    Obviously I missed something;
    it’s a terrible thing to have Audubon – so upset.

    • What exactly is Audubon – drawing attention to?
      Justice department funds and the ordinary citizen [people]


      Duke has resolved their issue –
      with a plea agreement to apply for a kill permit; so
      they have knowledge they can apply for a kill permit.

      The Wall Street Journal
      December 6, 2013

      ‘[excerpt] Executives said the new rules and a move last month by the Justice Department may convince many more to apply for permits so they don’t risk being prosecuted. In November, Duke Energy Corp. agreed to plead guilty and pay $1 million for killing birds at a wind farm in Wyoming that were protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Previously the federal government had not prosecuted wind companies under the bird laws.

      A Duke spokeswoman said the company agreed in its plea agreement to conservation measures and to apply for a permit.

      “This provides some certainty and clarification to the industry,” she said of the new rule.’
      [The Wall Street Journal, December 6, 2013]
      p.s. you can search link if you wish
      Enron Days – market manipulation;
      just following the rules.
      ‘[excerpt] ….. have refund obligations, even though Duke Energy acted appropriately and within the market rules.

      July 2004
      CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Duke Energy today announced it has reached a settlement agreement in principle with the states of California, Washington and Oregon; federal regulators; California’s three largest investor-owned utilities; and other parties to resolve refund proceedings and other significant litigation related to the western energy markets during 2000-2001.

      As part of the agreement, Duke Energy will provide $207.5 million in cash and credits. In exchange, the parties to the agreement will forego all claims relating to refunds or other monetary damages for sales of electricity during the settlement period, and claims alleging Duke Energy received unjust or unreasonable rates for the sale of electricity during the settlement period, January 2000 through June 2001.

      The settlement resolves:

      All western refund proceedings pending before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)

      Market price investigations by attorneys general in California, Washington and Oregon

      Private electricity-related class action suits filed on behalf of California, Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Utah ratepayers

      Natural gas price issues raised by the California attorney general, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric Company.

      Welcome to Ontario – where rules change
      day to day

    • Hey Barbara,
      Please be a little more specific.
      – cash settlement – for what?


    • Hey Barbara,

      Hold on a minute!

      I would encourage more investigation –
      – without taking sides – @ this point;
      for example
      Ontario wind turbines are growing – with no push back –
      from trusted environmental groups.

      Ontario should be watching – all sides!
      As written – the bill needs some adjustment – but to dismiss it
      entirely – would be wrong.
      There’s always more to the story!

      Even if it doesn’t get passed –
      [POTUS has already said he would veto it, without debate?]

      The Audubon article has drawn curiosity – that’s for sure;
      by incorrectly spelling out the situation – they are most concerned about….
      ‘access’ – to federal money!

      Of course – this is only my opinion.

      • Couple of points here: Duke Energy does have a Board member at OPG. Audubon is connected to the European Climate Foundation.

        The European Climate Foundation is connected to the Trudeau Foundation by way of Board Chair.

        Being aware of these kinds of networks operating in Canada is important.

      • TCAN/ Toronto Climate Action Network

        Members include:

        Toronto 350.Org
        Greenpeace Canada
        Ontario Clean Air Alliance
        Toronto Chapter of the Council of Canadians
        Citizens Climate Lobby

        Naomi Klein on Board of 350.Org., U.S. which has a Toronto chapter.

      • Okay – here’s one for you.

        Let’s say – you are poor, and you have 3 hungry children.
        The only thing you have – to feed your children – is 1 chicken,
        and the children
        have waited all day to eat.

        Along comes a priest.
        He sees you are poor – and tells you – he will pray for you
        as long as you give him
        – the chicken – like a tithe (or payment).

        What would you do?
        I’d kick him out of the house!

        I’d then feed my hungry children
        – thank God for my chicken –
        and pray – for a better tomorrow.

        God Bless!

      • CIDSE, Brussels

        Scroll down to: Decision Making Structures

        “The Board is composed of the Directors of the 17 Member Organizations. The Board meets once a year and is responsible for the general running of CIDSE, in particular reviewing current activities and formulating policies for the future.”

        Members include:
        Canada, Development & Peace, Montreal
        U.S., Center of Concern

      • You can’t ‘offset’ child molestation
        by wearing a collar.

        Wonder what Pope thinks..

  3. March For Jobs Justice and the Climate, Toronto, may 21, 2015

    Media-event May 21, 2015 on Bay Street Launches the March for Jobs, Justice and the Climate before the Pan American Summit.

    March will be Sunday July 5, 2015, Toronto before the Pan American Summit which takes place next week in Toronto.

    Speakers will include:

    Naomi Klein, Board of 350 Org.
    Jerry Dias, Pres. of Unifor
    And others

    Partners list is at:

    Naomi Klein is involved in the Vatican Climate change issues.

    Naomi Klein born Montreal.

  4. Ontario 2015
    McGuinty/Wynne – global leadership –
    stands strong on reality!
    350Billion dollar debt;
    climate justice and affordable housing for all –
    with housekeeping!

    Join the parade!

    Communist Russia


    Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is Not a Scientific Organization But a Political Lobbying Group
    Climate // January 5, 2014

    John McLean, author of three peer-reviewed papers on climate and an expert reviewer for the latest IPCC report elaborates on how a Lack of accountability clouding the climate change debate.

    He explains how the “world’s so-called authority on climate change engages in exaggerated science and has become a political tool.”

    The [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s] charter from the outset has been ”to assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation”.

    The IPCC’s focus is therefore very specific – any human influence on climate. It has no mandate to examine other causes of climate change. IPCC assessment reports claim that the human influence is significant but look closely and we find the claims are based on the output of climate models that the IPCC admits are seriously flawed, that the IPCC often asserts a level of certainty that the data cannot sustain and that as ”Climategate” showed us, a clique of scientists has in the past sought to control the material cited by these reports.

    Election Year Canada
    October 19, 2015
    Vote Conservative!

  5. Duke Energy Upgrades Notrees Energy Storage System
    in News Departments > FYI
    by NAW Staff on Tuesday 30 June 2015
    Email article Email articlePrint PrintPermission Reprints & Permissions
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    Duke Energy is in the process of updating its 36 MW energy storage and power management system located at the company’s 153 MW Notrees Windpower Project in West Texas.

    According to Duke Energy, the energy storage system has been operating with lead acid batteries since 2012. Over the course of 2016, these batteries will be gradually replaced with lithium-ion technology.

    The company is working with Younicos and Samsung SDI on the upgrades.

    Samsung SDI, as primary engineering, procurement and construction manager, will provide its lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries and associated battery management system.

    Younicos will provide its energy storage management system (ESMS), which will work together with the Samsung SDI software and batteries. The Younicos ESMS interprets the signal from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) and enables the battery project to store or dispatch energy as needed – all while maintaining the energy storage system in an optimal performance state.

    Younicos is also providing system design, engineering, software integration and testing, as well as post-implementation engineering services.

    “The Notrees Energy Storage Project has proven to be a valuable asset, achieving the objectives of our partnership with ERCOT and the Department of Energy,” says Greg Wolf, president of Duke Energy’s commercial portfolio. “Because battery technology is rapidly evolving, we have an opportunity to upgrade the facility to better match the function that has become most valuable in the Texas market – fast response frequency regulation.”

    Duke Energy, the largest U.S. electric utility, currently owns nearly 15% of the grid-connected, battery-based energy storage capacity in the U.S., according to independent research firm IHS Energy.

  6. There’s always a subplot……….

    Hey Barbara,

    Banco Ambrosiano – collapsed in 1982;
    and we should notice the Vatican keeps its money someplace –
    -safe –
    let’s hope – for their sake;
    a functional finance department!

    The subplot of
    – The Godfather Part III – was inspired by the
    collapse of – Banco Ambrosiano.

    Movie Night!

    from your post above:
    ‘Invited by Vatican, Naomi Klein Makes Moral Case for World Beyond Fossil Fuels’

    Other speakers included:

    Ottmer Edenhofer, Co-Chair UN IPCC
    Bernard Nils, Secretary General, International Cooperation for Development and Solidarity/CIDSE
    Can it get any more ridiculous?
    Anyways – I love movies – with

    Mark your calendars!
    Election Night Canada
    October 19, 2015

    Vote Conservative!

    • Wait – I forgot to tell you
      the Vatican was a principal shareholder and loan recipient
      of Banco Ambrosiano………………Big #2……in all of Italy
      …………….all private banking.

      Oh yeah……
      Is Naomi’s gig – for free?
      I hate jet lag;
      a movie star thing!

  7. The following Letter to the Editor from Elizabeth Dowdeswell appeared in this week’s free edition of the Norfolk News.

    Norfolk News
    Volume 3, Edition 27
    A division of metrolandmedia
    39 Colborne Street South, Simcoe, N3Y 4H2
    Neil Oliver – Vice-President & Group Publisher Metroland West
    Len Offless – General Manager
    John Paul Zronik – Regional Managing Editor
    J.P. Antonacci – News Editor
    page 10

    “Our province, our country, our home”

    Happy Canada Day! This year we celebrate the 148th anniversary of Confederation. As Canadians and as citizens of one of the four founding provinces of this country, we are already anticipating a remarkable sesquicentennial in 2017.

    As we mark Canada Day this year, I encourage each of you to consider the broader meaning of what it means to be a Canadian in Ontario, our nation’s most populous province.

    Over the last few months, I have seen firsthand the commitment all Ontarians have to improving our country in so many ways.

    In communities large and small, I see local action designed to create just and sustainable communities in which everyone can live with dignity and respect the environment.

    It will be inspiring to see Ontario at the forefront of Canada’s international presence this summer as we are privileged to host the first major international multi-sport Games to be held in this province. Our diverse population will warmly welcome athletes, coaches and officials from more than 40 countries to Ontario for the Pan Am and Parapan Games.

    I know that many volunteers and communities are bursting with pride and community spirit with the knowledge of the legacy we will all enjoy from the facilities and community investments for years to come.

    We will stand proud and confident as our dedicated Canadian athletes show us what it means to rise a little higher, go a little faster and grow a little stronger. We will cheer them on enthusiastically.

    As The Queen’s representative in Ontario, I hope that as you enjoy this holiday with family and friends you’ll also reflect on our good fortune to live in this great country.

    The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, OC, OOnt
    Lieutenant Governor of Ontario

    • And the MSM never mentions that Dowdeswell was on the Board of the Chicago Climate Exchange and now Ontario has cap-and-trade. Carbon trading is only months away.

      • Hey Barbara,
        Let’s hope she took the – ‘black box’;
        intelligence gathering – has its perks!

        I’d say – she’s got a good eye!
        – and Canada is a big country.

        Re: The Keystone XL Pipeline
        She played a key role in the environmental assessment – made recommendations etc. – and in the end supported the project.

        Election Year Canada!
        October 19, 2015
        Vote Conservative!

        p.s. I doubt she’s Wynne’s gal pal.

      • Cap-and-trade/carbon credits makes wind and solar projects worth more money.

      • Fly me to the moon!

        Stephen Harper conservatives – are not in the business of ‘saving the planet’;
        they do not support cap-and –tax!

        The United Nations is not a friend to Canada –
        and should stay out of our politics.

        Just in case you forgot………….
        Election Year Canada
        October 19, 2015
        Vote Conservative!

        The liberals with the support of the NDP
        destroyed Ontario;
        their mission – is still in full force!

      • It takes money to jet around the world! Like Naomi Klein does.

        The above supporting carbon tax letter to Canada’s Finance Minister self-identifies those who signed it.

        The letter reveals the involvement of faith-based groups in support of a tax on carbon in Canada.

  8. Re: and now Dalton McGuinty spends his days looking in the mirrors

    ‘[excerpt] I would suggest that health related matters be addressed to the local Medical Officer of Health. The MOE does not deal directly with individual health issues/concerns. We are committed to ensuring that the rules regarding wind farms continue to reflect current environmental standards that are protective of human health.’


    Let us reflect–
    as a matter of fact–
    let the truth beam like sunshine!

    And let us all stand–
    with our mirrors–
    and reflect
    it at Dalton McGuinty!

    And he will combust!

    And then we will have fire.
    And we can cook our meals.
    And thank god.

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