Trump Hits the 2024 Campaign Trail With an Assault on … Windmills?
Our brief respite from seeing Donald Trump on the campaign trail since he launched his 2024 campaign in mid-November has come to an end, meaning we are all once again subjected to his unfiltered hot takes, including wacky claims against his old foe: windmills. (The Don Quixote jokes write themselves.)
During a speech to the New Hampshire Republican State Committee’s annual meeting, Trump mocked Biden’s energy policies. “The price of oil hits an all-time high, and that was the day [Biden] said, ‘No drill, we’re not gonna drill. We’re going wind. Let’s kill all the birds. Let’s destroy our planes and beautiful oceans and seas and everything else,’” Trump said. It’s unclear what Trump believes wind turbines will do to planes.
“And then on top of it, we sell China millions and millions of barrels of cheap oil,” he continued. “We’re selling it to China. We demand windmills be built on our oceans. We demand they go in our prairies and our mountains and our plains only to realize that they’re killing all our birds at a level that if you go out hunting and you happen to shoot a bald eagle, they put you in jail like for five years, right? They kill thousands of them with these windmills. Nothing happens.”
Trump isn’t wrong that wind turbines have been linked to deaths of both bald and golden eagles, although at least one company has faced consequences for it. Last year, a judge ordered ESI Energy to pay some $8 million after it acknowledged its turbines killed at least 150 eagles. It’s particularly rich that Trump chose to focus on protecting animals as an argument for one of his pet issues considering his usual animosity toward the environment, as evidenced by his administration’s rollback of environmental protections and damage to the climate.
Continuing his rant, Trump connected it to another one of his longstanding grudges, China. “[Wind is] the most expensive and least reliable form of energy on our planet — extremely expensive. And the wind turbines are all made in China,” he said. “Some are made in Germany, but most are made in China.”
Trump carries a longstanding personal grudge against windmills. He lost a legal battle against the Scottish government after he sued when the government installed an offshore wind farm within view of one of his golf courses, Trump International Scotland. After lengthy litigation, the Trump Organization was ordered in 2019 to pay the Scottish government $290,000 for its legal fees in the case.
This was not the only wild claim Trump made in his New Hampshire speech. He also said that before the U.S. left Afghanistan, the Taliban “never [fought] at night because they don’t have binoculars.” (He probably meant night vision goggles, though they did have access to those pre-2021.) And, Trump attacked the FBI’s investigation into classified documents he kept at Mar-a-Lago resort after his presidency, claiming the National Archives are a “radical left” institution.
His speech also contained his usual hate, including a transphobic rant and tirade against immigrants. Trump will continue his campaign on Saturday afternoon in South Carolina where he will speak before a group of 500 invited guests on the grounds of the state capitol.