Brooke Marcus Wahlberg Discusses Impact of Lesser Prairie-Chicken Listing on Wind Energy

06.07.2021
Bloomberg Law

Brooke Marcus Wahlberg was quoted extensively in the Bloomberg Law article, “Prairie-Chicken Listing Expected to Put Wind Farms in Crosshairs.” The article provides in-depth analysis on the impact of a Biden administration proposal to list the lesser prairie-chicken as endangered in the Permian Basin of Texas and New Mexico and threatened in northern parts of its range.

Commenting for the article, Brooke said that the proposal is “at cross purposes with the Biden administration’s climate goals.”

She continued, “An ESA listing for the lesser prairie-chicken could be devastating for the wind industry because the Fish and Wildlife Service is considering a possible mile-wide zone around each wind turbine within which the agency would assume the bird could no longer live.”

Avoiding or mitigating take based on the agency’s zone of impact is difficult and has a high price tag for developers.

With the agency’s position, “[y]ou end up having significant acreage that is now unusable,” Brooke said. “You’re in this place where the Service is saying your take is reaching out to these lengths, or you’re getting a permit where your impacts estimates are so high your mitigation costs are just outrageous.”

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