Sierra Club official responds to wind turbine guidelines

Birds fly past wind turbines
The Obama administration offered new guidance Friday, March 23, 2012 on where wind farms, like this one in Germany, should be located to reduce the number of bird deaths while promoting increased use of wind power. (AFP/AFP/Getty Images)
AFP/AFP/Getty Images

An official with the Sierra club responded to the new voluntary guidelines to protect birds at wind power sites.

Dave Hamilton Director of Global Warming and Energy Programs at the Sierra Club, said he's willing to support the idea for now, but said his group would rather see mandatory regulations governing wind farm sites.

The proposals, released today by the U.S. Department of the Interior, call on wind farm developers to study and then take steps to protect bird species living near the turbines.

"I think in our heart of hearts we would be more comfortable with that," Hamilton said. "But we're going to move forward with this plan and watch it very closely to make sure that it accomplishes what it sets out to do."

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates wind turbines kill about half a million birds annually across the country. In Minnesota, bird safety became an issue in the controversial Goodhue Wind project in the southeast part of the state.

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