Donald Trump said wind turbines cause cancer. Chuck Grassley called that 'idiotic.'

Brianne Pfannenstiel
The Des Moines Register
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Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley — a champion of the wind energy tax credit — said President Donald Trump's comments that wind turbines cause cancer were "idiotic" in a call with reporters Wednesday.

"I’m told that the White House respects my views on a lot of issues," Grassley said. "(Trump's) comments on wind energy — not only as a president but when he was a candidate — were, first of all, idiotic, and it didn’t show much respect for Chuck Grassley as the grandfather of the wind energy tax credit."

Speaking at a Republican fundraiser Tuesday night, Trump discussed wind turbines and energy policy.

"If you have a windmill anywhere near your house, congratulations, your house just went down 75 percent in value," he said. "And they say the noise causes cancer. You tell me that one, okay?"

There is no evidence showing the sound from wind turbines causes cancer.

Do wind farms cause cancer? Some claims Trump's made about the industry are just hot air.

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Iowa is a national leader in wind energy, and it was the first state to generate more than 30 percent of its electricity through wind power, according to the Iowa Environmental Council.

Grassley, a Republican, has been a vocal supporter of the industry.

On Wednesday, shortly after calling the president's comments "idiotic," Grassley's office sent out a news release trumpeting his bipartisan appeal for more federal wind energy funding. The appeal was co-signed by Oregon Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley along with several senators running for president as Democrats, including Sens. Kamala Harris of California, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, and Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

Trump has been critical of wind turbines throughout his career as a politician and as a businessman, arguing they would obstruct the views from his golf course.

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Gov. Kim Reynolds, also a Republican, addressed Trump's remarks with reporters Wednesday as well and highlighted the important role wind energy plays in Iowa's economy. However, she declined to say whether she thinks Trump is wrong that wind turbines can cause cancer.

"That's not my place," she said.

"You know how those things change," she said. "One year, coffee’s good for you. The next year, coffee causes cancer."


Register reporter Barbara Rodriguez contributed to this report.

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