Wind energy firm pleads guilty to eagle deaths

WASHINGTON — For the first time, the Obama administration is taking action against wind farms for killing eagles.

In a settlement announced Friday, Duke Energy will pay $1 million for killing 14 golden eagles over the past three years at two Wyoming wind farms. The company said it pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

The case is a first to be prosecuted under that law for a wind company by the Obama administration, which has been a champion for pollution-free wind power.

Eagles act like texting drivers when they search for prey and slam into massive turbines.

A study by federal biologists this year found that wind energy facilities in 10 states had killed at least 67 golden and bald eagles since 2008.

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