Trump on turbines: ‘They’re rotting, they look like hell’

Source: By Scott Waldman, E&E News reporter • Posted: Sunday, February 23, 2020

Trump, speaking at a rally in Colorado Springs, Colo., recalled the sight from an earlier stop in Palm Springs, Calif., where he held a fundraiser at a golf resort during his swing across the West Coast this week. Idle and eroding wind turbines, he claimed, were “all over the place.”

“They’re closed, they’re rotting, they look like hell,” he said.

As the crowd booed, he told them the manufacturing of “windmills” is a concerning source of pollution. He also claimed that wind developers often abandon the turbines after their useful life has expired. He didn’t provide details.

“When they’re making them, more stuff goes up into the air and up into the ozone, the atmosphere,” Trump said. “And they don’t say this, but after a period of time, they get tired, they get old, they get rusty and a lot of guys say hey, their useful life is gone, let’s get the hell out of here.”

The president, whose priorities include expanding the production of oil, gas and coal, didn’t mention greenhouse gases and their effect on the climate. The expansion of renewable energy sources like wind and solar are one reason U.S. emissions have generally fallen over the last decade.

Trump’s comments add to his record of criticizing wind energy. In the past, he sued to stop an offshore wind project in Scotland that would have been visible from one of his golf resorts. He lost that case and was ordered to pay the Scottish government’s legal fees. He also claimed that wind turbines cause cancer, though there’s no evidence they do.

Trump has also criticized manufacturers for making the world’s turbines in Germany and China. The U.S. has more than 500 factories in 43 states that are manufacturing turbines and parts, according to the American Wind Energy Association.

In Colorado, where Trump spoke last night, the industry employs more than 3,000 people, according to the association. In the U.S., about 100,000 people work in the industry and related businesses.