During a speech to the conservative student group Turning Point USA, Trump told attendees that he “never understood” the allure of wind power plants, according to a report from Mediaite.
“I never understood wind,” Trump said, according to Mediaite. “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?”
“So the world is tiny compared to the universe. So tremendous, tremendous amount of fumes and everything. 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 president added.
Critics of wind power plants frequently point to the carbon emissions from concrete and other manufacturers involved in the production of wind power farms as a reason against further construction of wind farms. However, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) found that wind farms around the world generated enough energy to avoid 200 million tons of carbon pollution from burning fossil fuels last year, and estimates that most wind power plants repay their own carbon footprints within six months of operation.
Trump also claimed during his speech that wind power plants are responsible for killing birds, including bald eagles.
“A windmill will kill many bald eagles,” he said, according to Mediate. “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?”
A study earlier this year found that about 150,000 birds are affected by wind turbines in some way every year in the U.S., a number that remains far lower than the number killed by domestic animals each year.