What’s a failed fascist to do after a disastrous pandemic, a failed insurrection, and two impeachment trials? Settle down in self-imposed exile and continue festering a gruesome index case of Wind Turbine Brain.
Donald Trump is a longtime enemy of wind turbines, dating back to his days in the war (against Scottish energy officials he was convinced wanted to ruin the view at one of his golf courses). He believes they kill birds, not that he actually gives a shit, and that somehow, despite the lack of any imaginable mechanism, they cause cancer in humans. On Sean Hannity’s Fox News show on Wednesday, Trump weighed in on the shutdown of the Keystone XL pipeline by reminding the public that wind turbines are murder machines that are going to “kill everything.” Let’s hear it straight from the big guy:
“But you see what they did with the Keystone XL pipeline, where they stopped it almost on the first day, and that was never mentioned during the debate. I kept saying you know you’re not gonna be energy independent, you’re not gonna do for Pennsylvania, for Texas, for all of these places where we’re doing so well with energy. We’re not gonna be energy independent in two months from now.
“They’re making windmills all over the place to ruin our land and kill our birds. To kill everything. We’re not gonna be, and they’re very intermittent, as you’ve learned watching over the last four months. It’s intermittent energy. It’s not good, it’s not gonna power our great factories. It’s a real, it’s a problem.”
Hannity then tried to change the subject to something, anything else.
Trump’s insinuation about the “last four months” showing us the dangers of relying wind power—ostensibly a claim tied to utterly baseless conservative lies about the Texas blackout—shows what a steady diet of Fox News will do to a man. The idea turbines kill everything is also some fetid conspiracy sludge pumped from the depths of the fever swamp.
Back in the real world, the U.S. wind sector is relatively small but growing portion of the energy mix, generating an estimated 8.4% of the country’s utility-scale electricity in 2020. Wind turbine technician is expected to be among the hottest new jobs in the country this decade. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment in the industry could grow 61% by 2029 and future job prospects in the industry as “excellent.”
Part of the reason is the falling cost of installing wind compared to fossil fuels, which happened even under our failed blogger ex-president. Now, the trend could be accelerating with a president living in reality and making steps to address to lower carbon pollution and kickstart the clean energy economy. In May, President Joe Biden approved that the first large-scale offshore wind turbine project in the country off the coast of New England. More recently, his administration began the process of opening two sites off the central and Northern California coastline for the installation of massive wind turbines. It’s part of a push to install 30 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity by 2030, and, more broadly, decarbonize the U.S. electric grid completely by 2035.
The new installations in the works could produce 4.6 gigawatts of electricity (enough to power 1.6 million homes) and, depending on who you ask, kill countless billions of humans with cancer and head injuries.