Big wind ≠ big tobacco


Judith Lewis Mernit’s Oct. 26 HCN cover story, “Clean Energy’s Dirty Secret,” seeks to paint the wind industry as a villain equal to the tobacco industry when it comes to the science related to their respective industries.

The piece implies that my organization, the California Wind Energy Association, personally attacked a researcher and his work on bird fatalities, which the writer characterized as being properly conducted and peer-reviewed. In fact, our group’s argument was focused solely on the quality of the researcher’s work and the lack of quality control exercised at the time by the sponsoring agency. We thoroughly documented a wide variety of serious mistakes, which were later verified when a proper peer-review was finally conducted by that agency.

There is no free lunch when it comes to generating the electricity that our society depends on, but the wind industry has been proactively addressing the relatively modest impacts that it has on wildlife. It stands apart from any other energy industry in doing so.

Nancy Rader
Executive director, California
Wind Energy Association
Berkeley, California

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