Energy News: California federal judge rules against 'eagle taking' rule

A federal judge in Northern California has ruled against a Department of Interior rule giving wind energy and other companies a 30-year pass to kill bald and golden eagles.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal judge in Northern California has ruled against a Department of Interior rule giving wind energy and other companies a 30-year pass to kill bald and golden eagles.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh ruled on Wednesday that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service failed to follow environmental procedural requirements in making the rule in 2013.

The department adopted the 30-year rule as a way to encourage the development of wind energy. Golden and bald eagles are not endangered species, but it is unlawful to kill the birds without a permit.

A previous rule allowed wind farms to apply for renewable five-year permits.

The American Bird Conservancy was among the parties to challenge the rule.

Gavin G. Shire, spokesman for fish and wildlife, said the agency is reviewing the decision.

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