Trump says wind power doesn’t work because ‘it only blows sometimes’
President Trump late Wednesday repeated his opposition to wind power, pushing a misleading claim that it would not work as an energy source because the wind “only blows sometimes.”
The president made the comments during a phone interview with Fox News’s Sean Hannity, as part of his remarks on how his presidency has been “tougher … on Russia” than any other past presidents.
“It’s what we have done with energy and oil and gas. That’s all competition from, for Russia,” Trump said. “You look at the Ukraine. You look at so many different levels. You look at our military.”
“You look at the fact that we would have been powered by wind, which wouldn’t have worked by the way because it only blows sometimes and lots of problems come about.”
The comment echoes Trump’s repeated past criticisms of wind power. Just one week earlier, he mocked the concept of wind power by mimicking a man telling his spouse: “Turn off the television darling, please. There’s no wind, please turn off the television quickly.”
The Department of Energy explains on its website that power grids are designed to accommodate variability from energy generation sources, such as wind and solar, without having to rely on “backup” energy sources.
Trump, who campaigned on restoring coal jobs to the U.S., has long opposed wind turbines based on a number of arguments, including saying that the “windmills” will decrease property values and that turbines are a “killing field” for birds.
The Energy Department also notes that bird deaths from wind turbines are rare and pale in comparison to bird deaths from collisions with buildings and declining habitats from infrastructure development.
According to a new study released this week by a nonpartisan think tank, solar and wind power are on track to phase out coal as cheaper energy alternatives within the next few years.