Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) sure didn’t appreciate President Donald Trump’s recent remarks about wind turbines and wind energy, especially since he’s an advocate of wind energy because it helps the very states that voted for Trump in 2016.
On Tuesday during a Republican fundraiser, Trump once again attacked wind turbines, which he has a longstanding beef with because Scotland built a wind farm near his golf course there over his objections.
Absurdly, Trump claimed wind turbines reduce the value of homes and that they somehow cause cancer, all without offering evidence to support either claim.
“If you have a windmill anywhere near your house, congratulations, your house just went down 75 percent in value,” Trump said. “And they say the noise causes cancer. You tell me that one, okay?”
Grassley, whose state generates energy through wind power and who has previously supported legislation to strengthen wind energy in the United States, criticized Trump while speaking to the Des Moines Register.
“I’m told that the White House respects my views on a lot of issues,” Grassley said. “(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.”
Grassley not only talked the talk, he later walked the walk by writing a letter with Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) asking the Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee to increase funding to wind energy programs in the budget.
“This funding is necessary in order to continue supporting rural communities, advance domestic energy independence, and ensure America remains a leader in wind energy technology,” the senators wrote. “The Wind Energy Program has a proven record of accomplishment in supporting research and technology development at national laboratories that improves the efficiency of U.S. wind power and lowers consumer costs. As new markets for wind energy and technology open in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East, the U.S. should aim to be the exporter of technology, innovation, and equipment, not cede technological innovations to governments overseas.”
“If we continue to invest in wind, this American success story will continue,” they concluded. “In 2018, the wind industry employed more than 105,500 workers, and wind turbine technician is America’s second-fastest growing job. Additionally, the wind industry employs veterans at a rate that is 50% higher than the national average. Accordingly, we strongly advocate for funding levels that will allow DOE to move forward with assisting industry in developing state of the art technologies, computing abilities, and critical research on wildlife impact mitigation technologies, market barrier reductions, grid integration, and aviation safety technology that continue to drive the domestic wind energy sector. Without this support, we cannot continue to enhance the development and deployment of this homegrown energy source.”
So, now Trump is going to have to explain to rural states why he is trying to take away their wind energy. Trump insulted a valuable renewable resource, Grassley and the state of Iowa and others with his ignorant remarks. And that’s not going to play well at all in 2020 when Iowa has an opportunity to replace Trump with someone who actually cares about turning America into a leader in wind energy. Because when America leads, all of us benefit.
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