Jun 12 2015 4:46 pm Jun 12 5:23 pm
The bald eagle and countless other species of birds are protected by a century-old federal law that a South Carolina congressman is trying to alter.
Bird conservation groups are horrified. The National Audubon Society, among others, is fighting the appropriations bill amendment proposed by U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C.
A Duncan staffer said the amendment is designed to promote wind energy production, aimed at eliminating penalties for accidental bird deaths such as from wind turbine blades. The thing is, the language in the amendment approved by the House of Representatives eliminates all penalties.
“The Migratory Bird Treaty Act is no more a barrier to U.S. commerce or economic development now than in all the decades since it was enacted in 1918,” said Nathan Dias, of Cape Romain Bird Observatory. “The United States has done just fine economically with it in place for almost 100 years. Jeff Duncan should be ashamed of his sneaky bird-killing amendment.”
Duncan was forced to remove the “accidental” language from the amendment to the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies appropriations bill in the House of Representatives because of a House rule prohibiting legislating in an amendment to an appropriations bill made from the House floor, said spokesman Allen Klump.