KEY POINTS

  • President Trump rails against wind energy
  • He claims windmills increase carbon footprint and kill bald eagles
  • Several studies show different results

President Donald Trump, or should we say Donald Quixote, once again found himself railing against windmills this past weekend. In his speech delivered for the conservative student group Turning Point USA, Trump told his audience that he "never understood wind.”

“I know windmills very much, I have studied it better than anybody. I know it is very expensive. They are made in China and Germany mostly, very few made here, almost none, but they are manufactured, tremendous — if you are into this — tremendous fumes and gases are spewing into the atmosphere. You know we have a world, right?” Trump said. 

The Commander-in-Chief then doubled down on his claims that windmills dramatically increased the United States’ carbon footprint, a belief shared with many hardline conservative critics of wind energy. Trump continued, “You talk about the carbon footprint, fumes are spewing into the air, right spewing, whether it is China or Germany, is going into the air.” 

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) reports that wind farms around the world generated enough energy to avoid 200 million tons of carbon pollution from burning fossil fuels last year.

Later on in the speech, Trump discussed the danger of windmills to the bird population, specifically bald eagles, saying, “A windmill will kill many bald eagles. After a certain number, they make you turn the windmill off, that is true. By the way, they make you turn it off. And yet, if you killed one, they put you in jail. That is OK. But why is it OK for windmills to destroy the bird population?”

However, a 2019 study published by Science Direct shows that only a little over 150,000 birds are killed by windmills each year, which is "a magnitude at the lower end of existing estimates that range between 20,000 and 573,000." A fraction of that was killed by cats and other natural predators. also, the wind farmers can make their turbines even safer with just a few simple adjustments.

Moreover, the wind has emerged as an increasingly viable alternative energy resource. Wind turbines convert the wind’s kinetic energy into electricity without emissions. In 2017, less than three percent of U.S. electricity was derived from wind energy wind. Since then, wind capacity has increased rapidly. A 2015 study conducted by the US Department of Energy found out that the wind could provide 20 percent of US electricity by 2030 and 35 percent by 2050. More than 54,000 utility-scale wind turbines are installed in the US, employing over 114,000 full-time employees.

pres donald trump bill signing pres donald trump bill signing Photo: geralt - Pixabay