In an important decision, the court has ruled for the bats, setting a precedent which will mean more careful consideration of the environmental impacts of all federal decisions.
We are arguing in court that the endangered Indiana bat deserves more protection than it is getting in the process for approving wind energy installations. We came across a study that concluded that the protections we would like to see implemented will cost about 1 percent of the power the wind turbines can generate. Wind turbines produce relatively little power from gentle breezes. Bats, on the other hand, avoid flying when the wind blows at the speed it takes to generate wind power efficiently.
The CLC has submitted comments (together with American Bird Conservancy) on the Draft Upper Great Plains Wind Energy Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS). The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Western Area Power Administration are jointly seeking to streamline the environmental review process under the National Environmental Policy Act and the Endangered Species Act for wind energy development in the six state UGP region.