Today, U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), top Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, made the following statement regarding the Department of Interior's rule change that will enable the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) to extend the term of permits for renewable energy companies to kill migratory birds, including eagles, from 5 years to 30 years.

"Permits to kill eagles just seems unpatriotic, and 30 years is a long time for some of these projects to accrue a high death rate," said Vitter. "The Administration's has repeatedly prosecuted oil, gas, and other businesses for taking birds, but looks the other way when wind farms or other renewable energy companies do the exact same thing. There needs to be a balanced approach in protecting migratory birds, while also supporting domestic energy, and with this newest decision, the Administration has failed to achieve that."

Vitter and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) have been scrutinizing the Administration's decision to selectively enforce the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Click here to read more.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimated annual bird mortality from wind energy production to be approximately 440,000 in its fiscal year 2013 budget justification. The Administration has allowed numerous wind, solar, and other businesses to apply for permits to kill migratory birds.