President Donald Trump is at war again with one of his most puzzling enemies: windmills.
During a bizarre, one-hour speech at a conservative Turning Point USA student rally in Florida last weekend, President Trump railed on the Green New Deal climate proposal put forth by some Democrats before taking aim at windmills.
“I never understood wind,” Trump acknowledged, before saying, “I know windmills very much. I’ve studied it better than anybody.”
On Saturday, Trump called windmills costly “monsters” and accused them of killing bald eagles and spewing “tremendous fumes” and “gases” into the atmosphere.
“They make these things and then they put them up and if you own a house within vision of some of these monsters, your house is worth 50-percent of the price,” Trump claimed. “They’re noisy, they kill the birds.”
It’s true that windmills have been known to kill birds who fly into them, though Trump’s language exaggerates the government’s own findings on bird deaths.
According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, windmills are responsible for about 140,000 to 500,000 bird deaths per year. However, 2017 estimates show upwards of a billion birds die per year from colliding with glass windows, more than 57 million potentially die because of electrical lines, and upwards of 3 million die because of cats.
“You want to see a bird graveyard? Go under a windmill someday,” Trump continued, as the crowd laughed. “You’ll see more birds than you’ve ever seen in your life.”
Trump has long been at odds with windmills, taking a lengthy court case all the way to the United Kingdom’s supreme court in 2015 over his attempts to force the removal of 11 windmills within sight of his golf course in Scotland, according to the BBC. Trump lost the case, but the president apparently hasn’t let go of his hard feelings.
Trump claimed again Saturday that windmills slash property values in half, which research shows is an unfounded statement. According to the Washington Post, Trump took the false claim a step further back in April, saying property values decrease 75 percent due to windmills.
The president also claimed in April that noise from turbines causes cancer, a claim that has no scientific research behind it. Republican Sen. Charles E. Grassley called Trump’s statement “idiotic.”