A war of words between Donald Trump and the Scottish government is escalating over plans to install wind turbines near Trump’s golf course, set to open this summer near Aberdeen. Trump claims Scotland’s emphasis on developing wind power will ruin the economy. Scottish leaders reply that a renewable energy policy is the best way for Scotland to boost economic development as the country edges towards a 2014 referendum on leaving the United Kingdom. The rhetoric on both sides has become heated, and Trump plans to testify in front of a parliamentary committee tomorrow.
Trump purchased the 1400 acre property in March 2006 with plans to build a $1.2 billion resort including a golf course, hotel and luxury homes. The local council at first rejected the plan, but then the Scottish parliament led by Alex Salmond overruled the the decision in late 2008 because of the “significant economic and social benefits.” Trump claims that he had been given assurances that wind turbines would not be built near the golf resort, but has yet to reveal any names. Now Trump’s praise for Salmond as an “amazing man” has changed to accusations that Scotland’s First Minister is a liar.
For Scotland, the $371 million offshore wind farm, 1.5 miles out at sea, is the first step towards building a clean energy economy that the government claims will eventually create 28,000 jobs. Trump claims the industrial look of the turbines will destroy the Scottish coastline’s scenery and in turn the country “will be in very, very big trouble.” When asked about public opinion polls that indicate a majority in Scotland favor the wind energy policy, Trump retorted that “it was put out by a couple of people who wanted to see this happen.”
Meanwhile Salmond has fired back, saying that “It would probably be best to allow energy policy of the country to be determined by the people who are democratically elected to determine it.” He also warned Trump that “just because you invest in a country does not mean you own it.”
Photos courtesy Trump International Golf Links