This story was originally published by Grist and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.
We fact-checked Donald Trump’s latest comments on renewable energy. Turns out, they’re not all true.
The Republican presidential nominee appeared on Herman Cain’s radio show on Tuesday, and he had quite a bit to say about wind and solar power, and birds too. Here’s part of the transcript, courtesy of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, with our fact-checking notes added in brackets:
TRUMP: Our energy companies are a disaster right now. Coal. The coal business is—you know, there is such a thing as clean coal [False]. Our miners are out of work—now they’re just attacking energy companies like I’ve never seen them attack anything before.
They want everything to be wind and solar. Unfortunately, it’s not working on large-scale [False]. It’s just not working [False]. Solar is very, very expensive [False]. Wind is very, very expensive [False], and it only works when it’s windy [False].
TRUMP: Someone might need a little electricity—a lot of times, it’s the opposite season, actually. When they have it, that’s when you don’t need it. So wind is very problematic [False] and—I’m not saying I’m against those things. I’m for everything. I’m for everything.
TRUMP: But they are destroying our energy companies with regulation [False]. They’re absolutely destroying them [False].
CAIN: But their viability has to be demonstrated before you shove it down the throats of the American people. That’s what you’re saying.
TRUMP: In all fairness, wind is fine [True]. Sometimes you go—I don’t know if you’ve ever been to Palm Springs, California—it looks like a junkyard [False]. They have all these different—
CAIN: I have.
TRUMP: They have all these different companies and each one is made by a different group from, all from China and from Germany, by the way—not from here [False]. And you look at all these windmills. Half of them are broken [False]. They’re rusting and rotting. You know, you’re driving into Palm Springs, California, and it looks like a poor man’s version of Disneyland [False]. It’s the worst thing you’ve ever seen [False].
And it kills all the birds [False]. I don’t know if you know that…Thousands of birds are lying on the ground. And the eagle. You know, certain parts of California—they’ve killed so many eagles [False]. You know, they put you in jail if you kill an eagle. And yet these windmills [kill] them by the hundreds [False].
But solar and wind power are on a meteoric rise, whether Trump likes it or not.