Donald Trump has claimed an increasing proliferation of windfarms will make Scotland the ”laughing stock” of the world.
In a strongly worded tirade against Alex Salmond’s renewable energy ambitions, the US billionaire also suggested the policy could threaten the prospect of Scottish independence.
The row came after Mr Trump said plans for a windfarm have forced him to put development of a £750 million golf resort on the Menie Estate in Aberdeenshire on hold.
The new comments are his most explosive critique yet of SNP Government policy and will be viewed as an embarassment for the First Minister.
”These hideous and noisy structures will visually destroy the coast and seriously impact the quality of life for local residents,” said Mr Trump. ”I cannot believe that … the Scottish Government have chosen to ignore the impact these failures will have on … historic sites that have brought tourism and inward investment to Scotland for decades.
”I have already invested millions of pounds to build the greatest golf course in the world and I will fight to protect the great dunes of Scotland. This ugly and destructive facility, and others like it, must be moved or Scotland will soon witness the total devastation of its tourism and industry and become the laughing stock of the world – not very good for independence!”
Mr Trump made the comments in a letter to Scottish Conservative MEP Struan Stevenson in response to an article the politician had written for The Courier’s sister paper The Sunday Post.
Mr Stevenson had claimed the Scottish Government was building ”more and more” windfarms in pursuit of its ”ludicrous goal” of producing the equivalent of 100% of the country’s electricity needs from renewable sources by 2020.
Mid Scotland and Fife MSP Willie Rennie branded Mr Trump’s comments a ”hysterical attack”.
”Renewable resources are a critical part of the answer to our energy challenge and tackling climate change. Liberal Democrats fully support Scottish efforts to meet that challenge,” said the Scottish Lib Dem leader.
”Mr Trump should show a little more respect for Scotland. Calling it a laughing stock of the world says more about him than it does about Scotland.”
But Tory MSP Murdo Fraser claimed Mr Trump’s comments would ”strike a chord” with the public.
”With a recent survey showing that a large proportion of tourists come to Scotland for the scenery, there can be little doubt that there is a risk to the tourism industry from overdevelopment of wind power,” he said.
”It would be a huge embarrassment for the SNP, and a blow for the Scottish economy, if Donald Trump were to pull out of his Aberdeenshire development because of a windfarm they sanctioned.”
A spokesman for the Scottish Government said: ”Scottish waters are estimated to have as much as a quarter of Europe’s potential offshore wind energy. An independent Scotland will be able to take full responsibility for this renewables revolution, along with the investment and thousands of jobs it brings.”
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding