Intelligent Energy

Donald Trump on wind energy and tourism: 'I am an expert'

Donald Trump on wind energy and tourism: 'I am an expert'

Posting in Energy

The billionaire is in true brassy form, telling Scottish Parliament that he is 'the evidence' and 'world-class expert' who knows that wind turbines kill tourism. Could his luxury golf resort suffer?

The Donald wants to trump wind power in Scotland in favor of his luxury golf resort.

My story about billionaire tycoon Donald Trump's fight to, er, scotch the wind energy industry in Scotland got a lot of you talking yesterday. So I thought I'd provide a short update on proceedings in Edinburgh.

A  quick review: When I wrote about this 24 hours ago, Trump was on his way to Scottish Parliament to argue against approval of a proposed offshore wind farm that he says will spoil the view for guests at the luxury seaside golf resort he's building in Aberdeenshire. Trump has protested for months that wind turbines are so ugly that they represent "financial suicide" because tourists will avoid the country. Wind is a major component in Scotland's ambitious target to generate all of its electricity from renewables by 2020.

The update: Trump repeated his stark warning during yesterday's hearing, noting, "Wind turbines, made in China, are going to be the destruction - almost a total destruction - of your tourism industry," the Daily Mail reported.

Asked what evidence he has to support his claim that tourists will stay away in droves, Trump delivered his punch line in true Donald form, as captured on BBC Radio's The World Tonight program (go to April 25 installment and skip ahead to 6 minutes 58 seconds to listen to the account):

"Well first of all, I am the evidence. I think I'm more of an expert - " (Laughter erupts, and Trump rises to the occasion). "You know what? I think I'm a lot more of an expert than the people that you'd like me to hire who are doing it to make a paycheck. But I am an expert in tourism. I am considered a world class expert in tourism. So when you say where is the expert and where is the evidence, I'm the evidence."

Trump was also undeterred by protestors who had greeted him outside with balloons reading, "Wind power, not wind bags."

The debate continues, but one thing's for sure: This man will be polishing his brass T's until the day he's entombed in the Great Trump Pyramid.

Photo from Boss Tweed via Flickr.

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Mark Halper

Contributing Editor

Mark Halper has written for TIME, Fortune, Financial Times, the UK's Independent on Sunday, Forbes, New York Times, Wired, Variety and The Guardian. He is based in Bristol, U.K. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure