Monday, February 27, 2012

Trump's anti-wind stump

So Donald Trump has wants to "preserve nature". It would be much closer to the truth to say that he's "green". The color and smell of money are his only motivation. He is clearly a buffoon and his opinions with regard to Scotland's offshore wind turbine project wouldn't gain much attention were it not for the fact that he's got £10m to fill anti-wind farm activists' war chests. (GW)

U.S. billionaire Donald Trump funds £10m anti-wind farm war chest to 'preserve nature' (but no mention of the protected sand dunes he built on)

By Damien Gayle
Daily Mail
February 26, 2012

Donald Trump, the American property tycoon, is bankrolling a £10million fighting fund for British anti-windfarm campaigners.

The move follows proposals for 11 giant turbines off the Aberdeenshire coast, which Mr Trump says will spoil the view from his golfing resort on the Balmedie estate, near Menie.

The billionaire believes the structures, each as high as a 64-storey building, will besmirch the unspoilt landscape surrounding the £750million, 1,200 acre complex.

But with the resort being built over a site of special scientific interest, Mr Trump's sudden lust for preserving the environment may open him to accusations of hypocrisy.

Locals campaigned in vain to save the sand dunes - home to numerous species of wading birds and wildlife - but they were finally bulldozed to make way for the fairways.

George Sorial, vice-president of the Trump Organisation, told the Sunday Times hundreds of groups fighting plans for windfarms had approached them already.

Mr Sorial said the money would not just go to groups focusing on Scotland, but would help fight plans for windfarms across the country.

Meanwhile, construction on Trump International Golf Links resort has been halted, and the tycoon has threatened to sue Scottish ministers if the turbines get the go-ahead.

However, some of Mr Trump's critics have pointed out that when work was suspended last summer, he blamed the global downturn rather than the wind energy proposals.

Mr Trump earlier this month wrote an open letter to Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond calling the wind plan 'disastrous and environmentally irresponsible.'

In a blistering attack on his policies on renewable energy, Trump accused Mr Salmond of being 'hell bent on destroying Scotland's coast line and therefore Scotland itself'.

The ill-tempered letter added: 'With the reckless installation of these monsters, you will single-handedly have done more damage to Scotland than any event in Scottish history!'

The bitter words were a far cry from the love-in the two men enjoyed four years ago when Mr Salmond boosted the resort plan by overruling local councillors who rejected it because of its environmental impact.

Other wind farm projects that have attracted Mr Trump's ire include proposals for up to 150 turbines overlooking Loch Ness.

Mr Sorial told the Sunday Times: 'If you stop 90 per cent of the people in the street in New York they would associate Scotland with Loch Ness.

'It is an iconic part of Scotland.'

Renewable campaigners were furious at Mr Trump's planned contributions to the anti-windfarm campaign, saying that the intervention risked damaging Britain's ability to become a world leader and exploit its 'world class' wind resource.

Gordon Edge, director of policy at RenewableUK, told the Sunday Times: 'It's astonishing that an American multi-billionaire feels he's entitled to circumvent the democratically decided policy of the Scottish and UK governments by supporting a shrill anti-wind minority, just because he might have to see a few wind turbines from his golf course.'

Britain currently has about 3,000 onshore wind turbines and several hundred offshore.

A further 6,000 to 10,000 turbines are needed onshore and up to 25,000 around the coasts if greenhouse gas emission cuts targets are to be met, the energy and climate change department estimates.


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