Jump to content
Obama to allow eagle deaths by turbines at wind farms
WASHINGTON — Under pressure from the wind-power industry, the Obama administration said Friday it will allow companies to kill or injure eagles without the fear of prosecution for up to three decades.
The new rule is designed to address environmental consequences that stand in the way of the nation's wind energy rush: the dozens of bald and golden eagles killed each year by the giant, spinning blades of wind turbines.
An investigation by The Associated Press earlier this year documented the illegal killing of eagles around wind farms, the Obama administration's reluctance to prosecute such cases and its willingness to help keep the scope of the eagle deaths secret. President Barack Obama has championed the pollution-free energy, nearly doubling America's wind power in his first term.
But all energy has costs, and the administration has been forced to accept the not-so-green sides of green energy.
Another AP investigation recently showed that corn-based ethanol blended into the nation's gasoline has proved more damaging to the environment than politicians promised and worse than the government acknowledges.
These examples highlight Obama's willingness to accept environmental trade-offs — pollution, loss of conservation land and the deaths of eagles — in hopes that green energy will help fight global warming.
The regulation published Friday was not subjected to a full environmental review because the administration classified it as an administrative change.
Stuart: Yesterday, as I was writing the column, I tweeted Inskeep to give him an opportunity to explain why he used the term "graffiti artist." I didn't receive a reply.
This morning I tweeted a copy of the column to Inskeep and NPR and Inskeep replied within minutes. We had a good-natured exchange on Twitter, but I don't expect a correction.
Inskeep's gripe with my column is he claims I wrote that he thinks graffiti is good. I pointed out that my gripe is his calling a vandal who damaged public and private property with paint an "artist." I tried repeatedly, but I couldn't get him to explain why he stated - particularly in the current circumstance - that graffiti is art.
A quick addendum. The Denver Post's Allison Sherry is reporting, "Colorado's state-run health insurance site Connect for Health Colorado has reported about 226 individuals signing up for new coverage so far."
See: Sens. Mark Udall, Michael Bennet ask Obama for more time on health care enrollment deadline
For some folks, there's never enough. They proclaim they moved here for "the way of life," yet they won't be happy until - in their desire to make it more like where they came from or like what some other town is doing - they've destroyed that way of life.
Unfortunately, perhaps due to space limitations, the Pilot's reporting on city employee pay always focuses on salary. It would be helpful to the public policy discourse if readers were informed of the total compensation package that city (and county) employees receive.
In fact, at yesterday's budget retreat there was considerable discussion about other components that go into an employee's compensation package - paid time off, health insurance, retirement, etc. - that is important information for readers seeking to better understand how the compensation of local public employees compares to private sector jobs in the Yampa Valley.
Hopefully, the Pilot will flesh this issue out so that readers can interact with their elected representatives in an informed capacity.
Nate cites the tennis facility as "valuable to our economy." Without taking a position one way or the other, I note that at the City Council's budget retreat yesterday considerable time was spent discussing whether to sell, repurpose or mothball the tennis facility because it is a continuing and escalating drain on city dollars.
Martha is correct. On September 13, Chief of Police Joel Rae issued a letter announcing two community meetings to discuss the possibility of building a new police station on a corner of Rita Valentine Park. The first meeting is August 27 at 5:30 pm at the Community Center and the second meeting is September 5 at 5:00 pm at Centennial Hall.
I believe Mark Scully's presentation to the City Council on behalf of Mainstreet Steamboat that advocated, among other items, the reduction of the speed limit on Yampa Street played a significant role in the decision by city officials to lower the speed limit.
I apologize for assuming Mark made that presentation with the knowledge and support of most Yampa Street businesses. My bad.
As for turning Yampa Street into a pedestrian mall, I think that might benefit the businesses on Yampa while doing damage to downtown traffic, parking and, consequently, the businesses on Lincoln and Oak. Cutting off one of only three cross-town streets could bring the law of unintended consequences into play in a big way.
But, it is clear that the move is underway to incrementally shut down Yampa Street. While I think that's a mistake, I understand I may be in the minority.
I suspect we have a much worse jaywalking situation on Yampa Street. With the new, impossibly low speed limit, bikers and pedestrians feel emboldened to cross wherever they want. I counted 17 jaywalkers during just one trip down Yampa the other day. Bikes are weaving in and out of traffic and passing cars on the right. The street has been made far more dangerous than it was. But, as the plan seems to be to permanently close Yampa because a few influential business owners think this will be to their benefit, I've decided it's safer to not patronize the businesses on Yampa and instead take my business to establishments that still believe a road is a road.
Finally, even the police are not obeying the new 15 mph speed limit. I've paced a number of marked cars and not a single one was within the speed limit.
Very nicely done.
Last login: Saturday, December 7, 2013
Contents of this site are © Copyright 2013 Steamboat Pilot & Today. All rights reserved.