President Trump’s assertion at Tuesday’s Republican Congressional Committee’s annual dinner that the noise from wind power turbines “causes cancer,” is being ridiculed by Republican and Democratic lawmakers alike.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, blasted the president’s claims in a Wednesday call with reporters.
“I’m told that the White House respects my views on a lot of issues,” Grassley said, adding that Trump’s “comments on wind energy — not only as a president but when he was a candidate — were, first of all, idiotic, and it didn’t show much respect for Chuck Grassley as the grandfather of the wind energy tax credit.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi echoed Grassley’s characterization.
“The president is saying that wind power is causing cancer,” Pelosi told reporters on Capitol Hill Thursday. “I associate myself with the remarks of Chairman Grassley. It’s an idiotic statement.”
On Wednesday, Grassley joined a bipartisan group of 19 senators in signing a letter pushing “to ensure American remains a leader in wind energy technology.”
There is no scientific evidence to support Trump’s claim that the noise from wind turbines is correlated with or causes cancer. Asked Wednesday whether Americans should be worried about such a risk, White House spokeswoman Mercedes Schlapp was unable to explain the president’s remarks.
“I don’t have an answer to that,” Schlapp replied.
Connecting the noise from wind power turbines with cancer wasn’t the only dubious claim the president made Tuesday about the alternative energy source.
“If you have a windmill anywhere near your house, congratulations, your house just went down 75 percent in value,” Trump said.
In February, Trump lost a court case against the government of Scotland over the billionaire’s battle to halt construction of an 11-turbine wind farm offshore from his Aberdeen golf resort. The club must now reimburse the Scottish government for legal costs.
Financial disclosure forms show, however, that while Trump’s quixotic fight against the windmills will cost him millions in legal fees, his golf property increased its revenue in 2017.
At an October rally in Ohio, Trump also claimed that a downside of wind power was that electrical service stops when the breeze dies.
“When the wind doesn’t blow, just turn off the television darling, please. There’s no wind. Please turn off the television quickly!” Trump said.
Power generated by wind turbines generally is fed into a regional grid that receives energy from a variety of sources so that the lack of wind on a given day does not disrupt electricity.
The depth of Trump’s antipathy for wind power, however, may extend beyond the limits of reason. The man who proudly proclaims he “digs coal” has long railed against wind turbines, including during White House meetings about renewable energy, according to a report by Axios.
“I hate the wind!” the president is said to have told senior administration officials.
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