Trump’s Big Complaint About Clean Power Is That Wind Kills Birds

  • Candidate’s energy policy promotes fossil fuels, coal jobs
  • Environmental groups are disputing Trump’s assertions

Trump Speaks About U.S. Energy Policy, Paris Climate Deal

Donald Trump would like you know that he supports renewable energy. What he doesn’t like is killing eagles.

In his first major energy-policy speech, the presumptive Republican presidential candidate said renewable power should play a limited role in generating electricity. But he questioned federal subsidies and said that wind power is “killing all the eagles.”

“Wind is a problem,” Trump said at an oil industry conference Thursday in Bismarck, North Dakota. “Plus it is very, very expensive and it doesn’t work without subsidies.”

Trump’s speech comes as wind and solar power are projected to grow significantly in the U.S., thanks in part to tax breaks extended last year by Congress and efforts to cut carbon emissions to meet commitments under the Paris climate accord. Trump, however, said he would “cancel” the Paris agreement and vowed to stop U.S. payments to the United Nations to combat global warming.

Environmentalists and clean power advocates were quick to condemn Trump’s plan, saying it was riddled with inconsistencies, ignored the dramatic cost reductions of renewable energy and overstated the impact of wind turbines.

Peter Kelley, a spokesman for the American Wind Energy Association, said Trump “grossly exaggerated’’ the threat. Only a few dozen golden eagles are killed annually by turbines, he said, and just a handful of bald eagles have ever been struck. 

“We are a vanishingly small threat to eagles,” Kelley said.

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