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Zinke on wind and solar: 'Chops up' 750,000 birds a year, 'sphere of death'

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Published on Jun 20, 2017

Speaking at the US Chamber of Commerce, Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke talks about the high environmental costs associated with the nation's wind and solar industries: "You know wind chops up around 650- or 750,000 birds a year. Wind comes at a cost. [...] If you've been outside of Las Vegas and looked at that solar field, it kind of looks like a scene from Mad Max. Is that the future of having these three or four eighty foot towers with reflector cells the size of garage doors where it makes this cone -- this sphere of death -- so as birds go through it they get zapped."

Energy Strong, 10th Anniversary Forum
US Chamber of Commerce
Washington, DC
June 20, 2017


SECRETARY ZINKE: "But, coal remains, you know, from a geologist's point of view: it's a known quantity; the btus are there. Can we make it cleaner, better over time? Absolutely. But, to think that you're going to replace 30 to 35 percent of our nation's energy by wind or solar. And, wind has an effect too. You know wind chops up around 650- or 750,000 birds a year. Wind comes at a cost. If you're a fisherman, offshore wind isn't particularly enamored with because it prevents you from fishing which is an important part of our economy. Solar. If you've been outside of Las Vegas and looked at that solar field, it kind of looks like a scene from Mad Max. Is that the future of having these three or four eighty foot towers with reflector cells the size of garage doors where it makes this cone -- this sphere of death -- so as birds go through it they get zapped. And, they invent new language for it. It's called a streamer. A streamer. And, then what happens is the bird gets zapped and of course bugs become a part of it and then it draws more birds. So, there's a few problems with that too. We're not against any energy. We're all the above but certainly fossil fuels and coal is going to be a part of our energy mix, and I'll go back to what I talked about at the very beginning. It is better to produce energy here under reasonable regulation than let it be produced overseas with no regulation."

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