Does Cory Gardner Think “Windmills Cause Cancer” Too?

Sen. Cory Gardner (R), giving himself cancer in a 2014 campaign ad.

CNN reports on remarks from President Donald Trump at a Washington, D.C. fundraiser for the National Republican Congressional Committee yesterday–in which Trump goes off on a tangent about the horrors of wind power that we have to think would make our allegedly pro-wind power Sen. Cory Gardner blush:

“Hillary wanted to put up wind,” said President Donald Trump at a fundraiser for Republicans in Washington Tuesday, kicking off an extended riff about the evils of windmills — wind turbines, more accurately — and the inadequacy of wind energy. It’s worth looking at in full since it’s clearly becoming part of his stump speech and feeds into his larger distrust of renewable energy and his mocking of climate change…

Among Trump’s false claims yesterday about wind turbines was the baseless assertion that “if you have a windmill anywhere near your house, congratulations, your house just went down 75% in value.” Nobody knows where Trump got that figure, which is 10% higher than he gave in another setting–but it doesn’t matter because neither number has any basis in reality.

From there, it only gets worse:

Trump: “And they say the noise causes cancer. You told me that one, OK.” (Then he made circles with his hands and a noise with his mouth.) “You know the thing makes so…”

It’s not clear who it was who told this to Trump, but there’s no evidence to back it up. There are frustrations with noise from wind turbines and those have led to reports of things like insomnia and dizziness among some people who live near wind turbines. Scientific studies have not identified any human health risk.

And if “noise causes cancer” isn’t enough for you, next came a statement that will come as a big surprise to thousands of Coloradans who work in the wind power industry:

Trump: “No, wind’s not so good and you have no idea how expensive it is to make those things. They’re all made in China and Germany, by the way, just in case you, we don’t make them here, essentially.” [Pols emphasis]

The wind industry has been on a tear. The fastest-growing occupation in the US in 2017 was wind turbine technician, although it’s still a small part of the economy, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. More than 105,000 Americans are employed in the wind industry across all 50 states, according to the American Wind Energy Association, a trade group…

Here in Colorado, four production plants owned by Vestas Wind Systems employ some 3,500 people from Windsor to Pueblo. Not all wind turbines installed in the U.S. are made in the U.S., and parts from across the world go into turbines that are made here–but either way it’s absolute nonsense to claim that turbines don’t provide American jobs.

Of course, the fact that Donald Trump tells lies is not exactly breaking news. The Washington Post released an analysis Monday showing that Trump has made a practically inconceivable 9,451 false claims in the last 800 days. But in the particular case of savaging the wind power industry, there should be someone in the GOP willing to stand up and call Trump out: Cory Gardner of Colorado, who made such a big deal of his support for wind energy on the campaign trail in 2014. Gardner’s recent cozying up to Trump ahead of their mutual bid for re-election in 2020 has included no serious attempt at reconciling Trump’s immoderate words with Gardner’s allegedly more reasonable positions on a wide range of issues, including renewable energy.

With all of this in mind, it’s time to ask the question: does Cory Gardner think wind turbines–in particular the “noise they make”–cause cancer? And if the answer is no, and we assume it is, the next question is this: what would Trump have to lie about to lose Gardner’s support? Trump’s treatment of women wasn’t enough, the North Korean debacle wasn’t enough–not even the national emergency Gardner was certain he opposed before it was ordered.

There must be something Gardner cares about enough stand up to Trump, but this once again isn’t it.

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22 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. unnamed says:

    The real question is: does Cory Gardner think New York City was part of Germany in 1905?

  2. davebarnesdavebarnes says:

    Well. Cory might be able to support that position.

    "Of the foreign-born population (1,270,080) in 1900, more than one-fourth (322,343) were Germans; more than one-fifth (275,102) were Irish, nearly one-eighth (155,201) were Russians, principally Jews; more than one-ninth (145,433) were Italians; and the next largest numbers were: 71,427 from Austria, 68,836 from England, 31,516 from Hungary, 28,320 from Sweden, 25,230 from Russian Poland,[19] 19,836 from Scotland, 19,399 English Canadians, 15,055 from Bohemia, 11,387 from Norway, 10,499 from Rumania, 8371 from Switzerland and 5621 from Denmark."

  3. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    I'd like to hear what Moderatus/PodestaEMails, Andrew Carnegie, and Powerful Pear have to say about Trump's statement that wind turbines aren't made in the USA.

  4. Diogenesdemar says:

    Donald J. Trump: . . .

     

    . . . bird lover!

  5. JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

    WaPo says "President Trump has made 9,451 false or misleading claims over 801 days"

    So it isn't as if Cory Gardner has a shortage of things he could correct, and thus "stand up to Trump."  I don't follow Gardner obsessively, looking at every tweet, newsletter, facebook post, news conference or published interview — but I cannot recall Gardner EVER saying Trump isn't telling the truth.

    • MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

      It’s gotten bad enough even Grandpa Chuck felt compelled to weigh in:

      Grassley schools Trump on ‘idiotic’ wind remark

      [S]o I'm going to give him some leeway when he criticizes alternative energy. Because I've gotta do it with 85 percent of the people that are new since we developed all of this and they think it's stupid that we have wind and solar and everything else, except for a few progressives," Grassley said.

  6. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    This "windmills cause cancer" meme is straight out of the right wing fringe press. It's being rapidly passed around the social media feeds of our local RWNJs, including the Independence Institute's Amy Oliver.

    In 2015, a farmer in France claimed that windmills were causing a drop in milk production in his dairy herd. He also claimed that the cattle were "getting shocked" and picking up their feet in unison (I'd like to see that – sounds like a Disney movie in the making).

    The latest lie about wind power is that it kills cows. These are both scams, of course. The French farmer who hopes to be able to sue wind and solar plant manufacturers for big bucks.

    The farmer claims that the cattle are being electrocuted from DC voltage leaking into the ground.  News flash – all solar and wind equipment, like all electrical equipment, must be fully grounded according to the relevant electrical codes.

    To date, there is no evidence of harm to human or animal health from wind turbines, especially compared to harm from air and water pollution from fossil fuels based energy production. Some wind plants are noisy, especially the earlier models, but a review of the literature in 2013 found no evidence of "wind turbine syndrome".

    Donald Trump, of course has a grudge against windmills after failing to stop an offshore wind plant that he claimed blocked the view from his Scottish golf course.

    Cory Gardner is disappointing. He used to be at least somewhat grounded in science, and when he's not trying to kiss up to Trump, has promoted stem cell research and other pioneering scientific and medical advances.

    • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

      I am thinking it couldn't take more than a handful uf lightning strikes to discharge more voltage into the ground than all the manmade systems in the world, much less just wind generators.

      I think you have pointed out something important here…

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