Palm Springs, CA Mayor Geoff Kors.
President Donald Trump’s more or less fact-free tirade against wind power in Colorado Springs Thursday evening, in which Trump claimed among other things that wind turbines are “all made in China and in Germany” despite the fact that Colorado has thousands of workers employed by wind turbine manufacturer Vestas in production plants across the state, provoked a fiery response Friday from one Geoff Kors–the mayor of Palm Springs, California. Trump singled out Palm Springs in particular Thursday due to the presence of a large nearby wind farm at San Gorgonio Pass, one of the largest and oldest such facilities in the nation:
Palm Springs Mayor Geoff Kors Friday fired back at President Donald Trump’s recent comments at a campaign rally in Colorado, where he blasted Palm Springs’ windmills, saying they “look like hell.”
Kors responded by praising the city’s quest to achieve 100% carbon- free energy in the face of climate change, and called the windmills that dot Interstate 10 “especially beautiful.”
“It is unfortunate that, at this critical time in our history, we have a president who lies about and denigrates clean green power while embracing and promoting dirty power such as coal and offshore oil drilling, which is destroying our planet,” Kors said in a statement. [Pols emphasis]
San Gorgonio Pass Wind Farm.
As the Sacramento Bee reports, this isn’t the first time Trump has dissed the city that bills itself “the golf capital of the world” over the nearby San Gorgonio Pass wind farm:
It’s not the first time Trump has been angry about the Palm Springs windmills. In 2012, Trump tweeted that Palm Springs had been “destroyed” by the “world’s ugliest wind farm.”
In 2016, Trump said Palm Springs was a “poor man’s version of Disneyland” on a radio show, The Desert Sun reported.
Now to be as fair as we can, Trump’s disdain for the Palm Springs area may have as much to do with failed casino management scheme in the nearby Coachella Valley in which Trump got Trumped by the Twenty-nine Palms Band of Mission Indians. It’s a fascinating side story, the kind that Trump has left littered in his wake for decades–but we digress.
Trump’s broadside against wind power in Colorado Springs on Thursday contained statements that should have resulted in fierce bipartisan pushback–and that means from the Colorado Republicans who directly represent wind power manufacturing plants and workers in our state. Back in 2012, when then-GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney promised to end the wind power production tax credit, some of the same Republicans who were silent this week were forced to distance themselves from their nominee:
Rep. Scott Tipton (R-CO) is the latest Republican to come out against Mitt Romney’s plan to end the production tax credit for the wind industry.
In an interview with ThinkProgress, Tipton rejected Romney’s pledge to end the wind tax credit, saying that the industry needs at least two years before it can be self-sustainable. “Do you want to cut it off when they’re on the cusp of being where we want them to be and to be able to create jobs and to be able to part of the energy solution?” Tipton asked, before answering his own question: “No, I don’t think we do.”
Sen. Cory Gardner (R), from a 2014 campaign ad highlighting Gardner’s support for renewable energy.
E&ENews reported in August of 2012:
Another wind-heavy state that could help decide the election is Colorado, where Romney’s newly aggressive opposition to the PTC also got plenty of attention yesterday. The industry supports at least 5,000 to 6,000 Colorado jobs, according to AWEA, and extending the credit has bipartisan support among the state’s congressional delegation. Freshman Colorado Republican Reps. Cory Gardner and Scott Tipton were among those who signed onto a letter to House leaders in June urging extension of the credit.
President Barack Obama fired back at Romney on the campaign trail in Pueblo:
“[A]t a moment when homegrown energy is creating new jobs in states like Colorado and Iowa, my opponent wants to end tax credits for wind energy producers. Think about what that would mean for a community like Pueblo. The wind industry supports about 5,000 jobs across this state,” Obama plans to say Thursday in Pueblo, Colo., where the Danish wind turbine giant Vestas has a major manufacturing plant.
We of course understand that the political climate in the country has changed considerably since 2012, mostly due to President Trump’s unprecedented free-ranging ignorance and rambling speechification completely untethered from any need for factuality. But for Colorado Republicans who were in 2012 forced to acknowledge reality, due to their representation of the very real people and industries who belie such deceitful attacks on wind energy, cheering on President Trump while he says things that would have been considered an unqualified disaster for the GOP a few years ago is just too much.
If there is no price to be paid for this by Colorado Republicans, not even an acknowledgement that their Republican President was spewing one alarming falsehood after another about an industry that employs thousands of Coloradans, a crucial element of accountability that once existed has broken down.