President Donald Trump talked about the dangers and risks “big windmills” pose Tuesday night during a speech in Pennsylvania.
“When the wind stops blowing, it doesn’t make any difference, does it? Unlike those big windmills that destroy everybody’s property values, kill all the birds,” the president said at a Shell petrochemicals plant in the Keystone State. His comments come after reports show phasing out federal tax credits could hurt investments in wind power.
Mocking the technology is not a new thing for Trump — he dinged wind power and other forms of green energy, as well as lawmakers who support such innovations, during his talk at the 2019 Conservative Political Action Conference. He continued that criticism Tuesday. (RELATED: Trump Delights CPAC Crowd With Green New Deal Mockery)
“One day the environmentalists are going to tell us what’s going on with that. And then all of a sudden it stops,” he said in Pennsylvania. “The wind and the televisions go off. And your wives and husbands say: ‘Darling, I want to watch Donald Trump on television tonight. But the wind stopped blowing and I can’t watch. There’s no electricity in the house, darling.’”
Trump also mocked people he believes are pushing coal workers into other forms of energy production. “Going to take these big hands, he’s going to take this little tiny part. He’s going to go home, ‘Alice, this is a tough job.’ No, you want to make steel and you want to dig coal, and that’s what you want to do,” he said.
Trump’s critiques come after the Department of Energy published a report in August warning that the market for wind power, which provides 6.5% of U.S. power, could stumble if federal tax credits are eliminated. Such credits helped the industry, as the average per-kilowatt installed cost of wind projects is now 40% lower than it was in 2009–2010.
Experts worry about the reliability of wind turbine power, especially if the electric grid is not up to the task of functioning on intermittent power.
“Ultimately, when you think about reliability, you’re trying to maintain balance of supply and demand,” Renuka Chatterjee, a representative at the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, which runs the electric grid in the Midwest, told reporters in 2017.
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