Trump Will Reverse Obama’s Policy Of Prosecuting Unintentional Bird Killings

Trump Will Reverse Obama’s Policy Of Prosecuting Unintentional Bird Killings, by Michael Bastach.

President Donald Trump’s administration will reverse a former President Barack Obama-era decision to prosecute individuals and companies that unintentionally injure or kill protected birds, The Daily Caller News Foundation has learned.

Conservatives long criticized the Obama administration for selectively enforcing the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) to the benefit of politically favored industries, like wind and solar power producers.

The Obama administration issued an opinion just before leaving office in Jan. 2017 that criminalized the accidental taking of migratory birds. The Trump administration will move to reverse this order and only go after intentional killing or “taking” of birds.

“This broad interpretation makes every American a potential criminal, from those who merely drive cars or own buildings with windows, to those who operate windmills or oil facilities,” reads a one-pager on the decision obtained by TheDCNF. …

Wind turbines kill hundreds of thousands of birds every year, and thermal solar plants in California have scorched hundreds more. These killings are unintentional, and represent a small percentage of accidental bird kills overall.

But while wind turbines and solar arrays killed migratory birds, the Obama administration exempted them from prosecution for years. …

Obama officials, however, did fine oil and gas companies for unintentionally killing birds. For example, ExxonMobil pleaded guilty in a 2009 federal court case to charges of killing 85 federally protected birds and agreed to pay $600,000 in fines and fees.

hat-tip Scott of the Pacific