Donald J. Trump is for the birds.
Speaking to oil and gas interests in Bismarck, N.D., on Thursday, the presumptive Republican nominee made clear his thoughts on two energy-policy cornerstones: renewable energy and our feathered friends.
Trump insisted “wind is killing all of the eagles” and expressed disdain with the Department of Justice, which “filed a lawsuit against seven North Dakota oil companies for the death of 28 birds, while the administration fast-tracked wind projects that kill more than a million birds a year.”
“Far more than a million birds,” he clarified.
As for the million-bird figure, the Fish and Wildlife Service estimates the number is likely closer to 500,000. Which is a lot of birds — but for reference, oil and gas kill around the same amount, and the coal industry snuffs out close to 8 million birds annually.
The real estate developer has never been the biggest fan of wind farms:
Except when he’s talking to clean-energy advocates: “It’s an amazing thing when you think — you know, where they can, out of nowhere, out of the wind, they make energy,” he mused to an Iowa voter late last year.
The same line-straddling appeared in Trump’s remarks on solar.
“The problem with solar is it’s very expensive,” he said a month after the world reached several tipping points for competitive renewable energy.
“I know a lot about solar,” he said in a press conference earlier on Thursday. We’re still waiting to find out what he meant.
Update: This story was originally published without any GIFs of eagles flapping all over Mr. Trump. Grist sincerely regrets the error.