Obama Finalizes Permits for Wind Farms - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Obama Finalizes Permits for Wind Farms

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The Obama administration has nearly finalized a rule that would give energy companies permits that could last as long as 30 years. Today's permits only last one to five years. The permits would also require companies to go to great lengths to protect bald and golden eagles and other migratory birds. 

Basin Electric Cooperative in North Dakota receives 700 megawatts of the company's energy mix from wind farms. And representatives say the new proposed rule will have little affect on its wind farms because the company already has stringent policies on interfering with migratory birds. 

"Our goal and the goal of others is to make sure wind, which is a natural resource, can be harnessed and developed, but at the same time we want to be mindful of wildlife of our avian population, and take those steps necessary to protect them, and mitigate those risks towards them," says Mary Miller, Basin Electric.

Last month, the Obama administration prosecuted its first case against an energy company for killing 14 golden eagles, which can get sucked into the farm's wind turbines while hunting prey.

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