Trump forced to pay nearly $300,000 to Scotland over failed crusade against clean energy


Donald Trump did not want a wind farm near his golf course. His failed effort to stop it will cost his company hundreds of thousands.

Almost four years after Donald Trump's anti-wind energy crusade in Scotland failed in the United Kingdom's supreme court, his company has received the bill to cover the Scottish government's legal costs. According to the Edinburgh-based newspaper The Scotsman, the Trump International Golf Club Scotland Limited has agreed to pay 225,000 pounds sterling to Scotland's government. With a conversion rate on Tuesday of $1.28 per pound, this would roughly mean Trump's company will have to pay $288,966.

The lawsuit stemmed from a series of wind turbines placed offshore on the North Sea near a Trump golf resort in Balmedie. Concerned that the turbines would spoil his view, he waged a multiyear political and legal battle to stop the project. "I want to see the ocean, I do not want to see windmills," Trump said in 2006 about the proposed turbines near his proposed golf course site.

In April 2012, Trump falsely claimed before the Scottish National Parliament's tourism committee that the turbines would "lead to the almost total destruction of Scotland's tourism industry" and urged them to stop the project. Rebuffed, he filed suit in the Scottish court system, ultimately losing his case in a unanimous decision before the U.K.'s highest court.

Trump has been a fierce opponent of wind energy, claiming without evidence that turbines are dangerous and cause cancer, are dangerous, and will lead to blackouts. His administration has pushed for significant cuts in federal funding for renewable energy.

The 11 wind turbines were completed earlier this year and are expected to produce the equivalent of roughly 70 percent of Aberdeen's domestic energy. Before and after the wind turbines, Trump's Aberdeen course has been a major money loser. Filings earlier this year revealed a loss of 1.1 million founds last year, the seventh consecutive year of loses for the resort.

This has been an expensive week for Trump. On Thursday, a federal judge ordered him to pay $2 million to charities to settle a lawsuit against his "charitable" foundation. As part of the settlement, he admitted that he illegally used the foundation's funds for business and political expenses, including money that should have gone to support veterans.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.