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Trump takes turbines fight to Holyrood  

Credit:  BY RYAN CRIGHTON, The Press and Journal, 22 February 2012 ~~

Donald Trump is poised to take his battle against windfarms to the Scottish Parliament. The American billionaire is being considered as a potential witness by a committee of MSPs putting the SNP’s green energy plans under scrutiny. Donald Trump is poised to make a sensational appearance at the Scottish Parliament in his bitter feud with Alex Salmond.

The Press and Journal can reveal the American billionaire is being considered as a potential witness by a powerful committee of MSPs putting the SNP’s green energy plans under scrutiny.

The tycoon is furious at a £150million proposal to build turbines off the Aberdeenshire coast near his Menie Estate golf resort.

He has vowed to fund an “international campaign” to stop the giant turbines from being built.

Last night, he said he would be delighted to be given the chance to appear before Holyrood’s economy, energy and tourism committee as it examines renewable energy targets.

“If it will help save Scotland from this madness, I would be honoured to testify,” he said.

Talks have already taken place between the Trump Organisation and the committee’s clerk about a written submission being lodged with members.

It is understood Mr Trump has offered to fly to Scotland in April to address MSPS in person.

His offer was made just weeks after he accused the first minister of being “hell bent” on destroying Scotland with wind turbines.

In a stinging letter to the Aberdeenshire East MSP, Mr Trump warned that other countries were laughing at the government’s “insane” proposals.

Marine Scotland is considering plans for 11 turbines in Aberdeen Bay.

The European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) is a £150million joint venture by utility company Vattenfall, engineering firm Technip and Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group.

Mr Trump has called for the windfarm to be moved away from Menie, wherehe has just completed “the greatest golf course in the world”.

Committee chairman Murdo Fraser confirmed last night that he was aware of Mr Trump’s willingness to give evidence.

The Tory MSP added: “The committee has not decided potential witnesses – that would have to be agreed by the committee as a whole. It is not for me to decide as committee chair. We are aware of the Trump Organisation’s interest in coming, given what he has been saying about the plans for an offshore windfarm at Aberdeen.”

Mr Fraser said a decision on witnesses is likely to be made in coming weeks.

Representatives from the Trump Organisation and Vattenfall held talks over the continuing row earlier this month. Dialogue between the two sides has broken down, however, according to the American firm’s head of development, George Sorial. David Rodger, project spokesman for EOWDC, said he was still hopeful the two sides could resume discussions.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “It is of course a matter for Scottish Parliament committees to agree witnesses to hear evidence and views. The Scottish Government supports the widest possible debate on how developing our clean, green energy resources is bringing industry and jobs to communities across Scotland.”

All the drama of Hollywood seems certain to be transferred to Holyrood in April if US billionaire Donald Trump crosses the Atlantic to give evidence to a Scottish Parliament committee.

He has offered to appear before the economy, energy and tourism committee as part of its probe into the Scottish Government’s green energy targets.

His recent, very public, spat with Alex Salmond over plans for a £150million windfarm off the Aberdeenshire coast near his Menie Estate golf resort should ensure more theatre.

Mr Trump’s stance on turbines will strike a chord with many who fear the government’s headlong rush for them is the wrong approach for Scotland.

The irony is that it is an American, with strong Scottish roots, who is leading the opposition to turbines, albeit with a vested interest in objecting to the Aberdeen proposal.

Source:  BY RYAN CRIGHTON, The Press and Journal, 22 February 2012

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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