In an hour-long student speech, US President Donald Trump said he was an expert in the field of wind turbines, despite insisting on calling them “windmills”.
US President Donald Trump spoke to students in the West Palm Beach area of ??Florida when addressing wind energy: “I studied this more than anyone I know,” he said.
“I never understood the wind power. You know, I know the windmills very well. They are noisy, they kill the birds. Want to see a bird cemetery? Go under a windmill one day. You’ll see more birds than he saw all his life, “he said.
The US president’s remarks were made during comments on opponents’ proposals to create a “Green New Deal,” a policy for state funding of alternative energy sources.
“[Wind turbines] are made mainly in China and Germany,” said Trump. “But if you are knowledgeable about the subject, you will know that they are made with very, very smoke. Gases are released into the atmosphere,” he said.
“You know we have a world, right? And the world is small compared to the Universe. So it’s a tremendous, tremendous amount of smoke,” he said, in apparent allusion to the process of manufacturing the wind turbines.
According to the US president, wind turbine manufacturing can leave carbon footprints: “You talk about carbon footprint, smoke is being released into the air, right? Launched. Whether in China, Germany, it’s going to our air, their air, everything, right? “explained Trump.
The president’s dislike for wind turbines, or “windmills,” as he prefers to call it, is not new. In the past, Trump had accused wind farm noise of causing diseases like cancer, The Guardian reported.
“You see all these windmills, each one has a different color. There are some that are white, some that are orange white. My favorite color, orange,” commented Trump.
The president was accused by his critics of making statements against wind turbines over a proposed wind farm near his golf course in Scotland.
“Do you know what they don’t tell you about the windmills? After ten years, they get horrible. They start to get tired, old men,” he said.
Wind energy is not expensive
Wind is now the cheapest source of new electric generating capacity in many parts of the country, according to sources like Wall Street investment firm Lazard Inc. In fact, wind’s costs have fallen by 70 percent over the last decade, and in many cases it’s now more cost-effective than coal or natural gas plants. Another recent study from Vibrant Clean Energy looked at Colorado’s energy future and found transitioning to wind and solar is the lowest-cost path moving forward.
Wind power creates American manufacturing jobs
Over 500 U.S. factories build wind turbine parts, employing more than 25,000 Americans. Many of these facilities are located in states that played a key role in President Trump’s election. Ohio leads the nation with 60 wind factories, while Texas is runner up with 46. Large wind manufacturing footprints are also found in Michigan (26 factories), Wisconsin (28 factories) and Pennsylvania (29 factories).
Wind power supplies pollution-free electricity
Wind turbines are largely composed of steel and concrete, the same materials as other power plants and countless other things in our modern world. A typical wind turbine repays its carbon footprint in less than six months and generates carbon-free electricity for the remainder of its 20 to 30 year lifespan. In 2019, wind helped avoid 43 million cars’ worth of carbon emissions. Wind also avoids significant amounts of air pollution like sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and particulates, which create smog and trigger asthma attacks.
Studies show wind does not affect property values
The most comprehensive study to date, published in a peer-reviewed journal in 2015 by researchers from the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL), the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Texas A&M University and San Diego State University, and involving data from more than 50,000 home sales among 27 counties in nine U.S. states concludes: “We find no statistical evidence that home values near turbines were affected in the turbine post-construction or post-announcement/pre-construction periods.
Three of the most influential factors that affect property values include tax levels, school system quality, and strength of the local economy, and wind plays a positive role in all three. Wind farms nationwide paid over $1 billion in state and local taxes and land lease payments in 2019. Rural communities that often have low tax bases benefit tremendously from the influx of new tax revenue wind farms bring. For example, the town of Sheldon, New York eliminated its local taxes for eight years because wind revenue covered the community’s entire budgetary needs. In Ohio, the Lincolnview School District was able to provide every student with a laptop because of new wind resources. And wind improves local economies, strengthening family farms by paying over a quarter of a billion in lease payments every year and creating well-paying wind technician positions in rural communities.
Wind energy is wildlife friendly
Wind causes less than 0.01 percent of all human-related bird deaths. Exponentially larger sources include tall buildings (550 million) and cars (80 million). “You can’t be against renewable energy, wind and solar, if you are for protecting birds,” said David O’Neill, chief conservation officer at the Audubon Society.
Wind also has vanishingly small impacts on bald eagles– only a few bald eagles in the four-decade history of the industry have ever been impacted by wind projects. There is no certain number of bald eagles a wind turbine can kill before it must be shut off.
Many of President Trump’s supporters are from communities in the Wind Belt, which stretches from Texas up through the Dakotas. In fact, American wind power has invested $125 billion in states that voted for the President, and almost 80 percent of the wind farms built in the U.S. since 2016 are in states the President carried. At the Congressional level, 78 percent of Republican districts have a wind farm, wind-related factory, or both. We hope the President recognizes these positive impacts moving forward.