Donald Trump launches wind farms broadside


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The Independent Online

US tycoon Donald Trump has warned that wind farms could "completely end" tourism in Scotland and the country is "in effect committing financial suicide".

Mr Trump said he would not have built his golf course in the north east of Scotland if he had known about plans to install turbines off the coast there.

He also claimed there was "not a shred of evidence" that the devices benefit the environment, claiming their construction used "massive amounts of fossil fuels".

Mr Trump, a vocal opponent of wind farms, launched his latest attack in a submission to Holyrood's Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee.

He is due to appear before MSPs next week as the committee considers how achievable the Scottish Government's renewable energy targets for 2020 are.

In his submission to MSPs, Mr Trump, chairman and chief executive officer of the Trump Organisation, argued that tourists will not travel to Scotland to "look at ugly turbines".

He said that when faced with "these industrial monstrosities" on the countryside and coastline, visitors will "hate it and go elsewhere".

The American businessman urged the committee to "recognise the serious situation and to advise the Scottish Government not to destroy Scotland with these horrendous, costly and highly inefficient industrial turbines".

He told them: "Your pristine countryside and coastlines will forever be destroyed and Scotland will go broke."

Mr Trump argued that a "wind farm landscape" would "completely end tourism in Scotland".

He claimed: "Scotland is, in effect, committing financial suicide."

In his submission, Mr Trump said that he "strongly" disagreed with First Minister Alex Salmond on the issue of wind power.

The American entrepreneur said: "I do not share his optimism about a future based on wind, especially when such plans have failed and caused so much damage in Europe, North America and so many other parts of the world."

Mr Trump has already spoken out about a proposed offshore wind farm near the luxury golf resort he is building in Aberdeenshire and has halted work on the development until a decision is made by the Scottish Government.

He said that the course there - which has already been built - was "perhaps my greatest contribution to the sport of golf".

But Mr Trump said: "If I had known about the current wind turbine proposals, I would never have built in Scotland."

He went on to accuse the Scottish Government of "giving with one hand and taking away with the other", and warned of the impact that could have on business in Scotland, claiming it "speaks to the world about a lack of trustworthiness and the inability to protect an investment from ongoing government interference".

Mr Trump said: "Simply put, we had a deal and I delivered. Do not now take away from our agreement by destroying the beauty I invested in."

He insisted he wanted the resort to be a "key part of the Scottish tourism economy" but added: "Constructing wind turbines so close to Trump International and the numerous other sites now threatened that are so vital to Scotland's tourism sector is simply bad policy and will lead to economic collapse."

He accused Mr Salmond and Scottish Government ministers of "ramming" proposals for wind farms through the planning system at "lightning speed".

That, he said, was happening "even though the rest of the world already knows that they produce a totally unreliable and very expensive form of power".

He also claimed that his golf development and "countless" other tourist sites were "currently threatened by plans to build these horrendous turbines", adding that the "countryside and coastlines will be littered with unsightly power plants".

Mr Trump went on: "There is nothing 'green' about creating an industrial wasteland and there is not a shred of evidence which suggests these turbines are even good for the 'environment' or reduce 'carbon emissions'. The manufacturing and construction process used to build these industrial wind turbines consume massive amounts of fossil fuels."

He also questioned whether wind farms would produce employment for Scotland, arguing the "real jobs" were created in the countries which manufacture the plans and build the turbines.

He said: "In reality and sadly for Scotland, the real jobs are created in China, Germany and Denmark, all paid for by the Scottish taxpayer."