Quantcast

Trump Organization to Pay $290,000 for Failed Legal Fight Against Scottish Wind Farm

Renewable Energy
Supply boats beside Aberdeen Wind Farm on Aug. 4, 2018. Rab / CC BY 2.0

President Donald Trump doesn't like wind turbines.

In April, he claimed they caused cancer, and he sued to stop an offshore wind farm that was scheduled to go up near land he had purchased for a golf course in Aberdeenshire in Scotland. He lost that fight, and now the Trump Organization has agreed to pay the Scottish government $290,000 to cover its legal fees, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.


News of the settlement, which comes four years after the Trump Organization's defeat and nearly nine months after it was ordered to pay the costs, was first reported by The Scotsman.

Friends of the Earth Scotland Director Dr. Richard Dixon reacted to the news by praising the Scottish government for "resisting repeated attempts" to stop the "popular and much needed" wind farm.

"A positive gesture would be for this money recouped from Donald Trump to be committed into programmes which support the growth in community-owned renewables," Dixon told The Scotsman. "Scotland needs to continue its growth in clean, reliable renewable energy as we transition away from fossil fuels to a zero carbon economy."

Trump launched the lawsuit in 2012 over the Scottish government's decision to approve an 11-turbine wind farm two miles from his golf course, The Guardian explained.

During the fight, Trump lashed out against both wind power and the Scottish government. He called the project "monstrous" and referred to then Scottish first minister Alex Salmond as "Mad Alex" in a 2013 op-ed for the Scottish Mail, according to The Washington Post.

"I am going to fight him for as long as it takes — to hell if I have to — and spend as much as it takes to block this useless and grotesque blot on our heritage," he wrote in the same op-ed.

But the UK Supreme Court unanimously rejected his suit in 2015 and, in February of this year, his organization was ordered to pay Scotland for the cost of the litigation. The Scottish government said payment was delayed because the Trump Organization would not agree to an amount. But Trump employees told The Guardian in October that they had not refused to pay.

"This is not in our control. The matter is in the hands of the auditors of the court of session and the Scottish ministers," Executive Vice-President of Trump International Golf Links Sarah Malone told The Guardian at the time.

The fact that the organization has settled now means that the issue will not pass to the auditor of the Court of Session, which would have added to the Trump Organization's legal bills, The Scotsman explained.

"Trump has attempted to avoid any responsibility over the impact of his developments and bullied anyone who has tried to stand in his way, so I'm delighted his business is being forced to compensate Scotland for his failed legal challenges," Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie told The Scotsman. "Hopefully this high-profile case will encourage all developers to consult, include and listen to communities rather than bully them."

The wind farm Trump failed to block began operating last July. It features some of the most powerful turbines in the world and has a capacity of 93.2 megawatts.

Meanwhile, Trump's golf course has operated at a loss for seven years in a row. It lost $1.4 million in 2018, The Washington Post reported.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Pope Francis celebrates an opening Mass for the Amazon synod, in St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019. Massimo Valicchia / NurPhoto / Getty Images

by Justin Catanoso

Pope Francis, in an effort to reignite his influence as a global environmental leader, released an impassioned document Feb. 12 entitled Dear Amazon — a response to the historic Vatican meeting last autumn regarding the fate of the Amazon biome and its indigenous people.

Read More
A flooded motorhome dealership is seen following Storm Dennis on Feb. 18 at Symonds Yat, Herefordshire, England. Storm Dennis is the second named storm to bring extreme weather in a week and follows in the aftermath of Storm Ciara. Although water is residing in many places flood warnings are still in place. Christopher Furlong / Getty Images

Britain has been battered by back-to-back major storms in consecutive weekends, which flooded streets, submerged rail lines, and canceled flights. The most recent storm, Dennis, forced a group of young climate activists to cancel their first ever national conference, as CBS News reported.

Read More
Sponsored
A group of Fulani women and their daughters walk towards their houses in Hapandu village, Zinder Region, Niger on July 31, 2019. In the African Sahel the climate has long been inhospitable. But now rising temperatures have caused prolonged drought and unpredictable weather patterns, exacerbating food shortages, prompting migration and contributing to instability in countries already beset by crisis. LUIS TATO / AFP / Getty Images

At the 56th Munich Security Conference in Germany, world powers turned to international defense issues with a focus on "Westlessness" — the idea that Western countries are uncertain of their values and their strategic orientation. Officials also discussed the implications of the coronavirus outbreak, the Middle East and the Libya crisis.

Read More
Polar bears on Barter Island on the north slope of Alaska wait for the winter sea ice to arrive so they can leave to hunt seals, on Sept. 28, 2015. cheryl strahl / Flickr

The climate crisis wreaks havoc on animals and plants that have trouble adapting to global heating and extreme weather. Some of the most obvious examples are at the far reaches of the planet, as bees disappear from Canada, penguin populations plummet in the Antarctic, and now polar bears in the Arctic are struggling from sea ice loss, according to a new study, as CNN reported.

Read More

By Petros Kusmu, George Patrick Richard Benson

  • We can all take steps to reduce the environmental impact of our work-related travels.
  • Individual actions — like the six described here — can cumulatively help prompt more collective changes, but it helps to prioritize by impact.
  • As the saying goes: be the change you want to see in the world.
Read More