Wind Power Frequently Asked Questions
Is the National Audubon Society "endorsing" wind power?
Acknowledging the important potential of wind power (as well as other renewable energy sources) to combat the threat of global warming to the survival of bird species throughout the western hemisphere does not mean we are providing a blanket endorsement. Every wind power proposal demands thorough case-by-case analysis of both its benefits and impact, and how that lines up against the potential widespread harm from climate change. Questions including project design and site location must be carefully considered. Audubon encourages ongoing research and collaboration to best determine how to maximize the benefits of wind power while reducing the potential for harm to birds, wildlife and the environment. Specific projects that pose too great a risk should be modified, moved, or, in some cases, stopped entirely.
Is Audubon at odds with its own chapters over this issue?
No. The National Audubon Society and chapters nationwide share a deep concern for the health of bird populations, their habitat, and the global environment. In keeping with that concern, we have a common expectation that all wind power projects be fully evaluated on a case-by-case basis, prior to permitting, to ensure that site selection, design, operational and long-term monitoring plans avoid significant harm to bird and wildlife populations or habitat. Local chapters and other groups are at the front lines in dealing with wind energy proposals. Their active involvement ensures that all environmental concerns are properly addressed.
Is it possible that Audubon will join in opposition to specific projects?
Absolutely. There will undoubtedly be locations and other circumstances that will render specific wind generation projects as unsuitable. In most cases, local groups will play the lead role in assessing specific proposals and working to secure needed improvements or mitigation, as appropriate. The National Audubon Society will provide support to those efforts where possible, while we also look forward to solutions, including properly sited and designed wind energy, to combat global warming before it drives entire bird species to the brink of extinction.