Empowering Communities, Advocating Solutions

Donald Trump Masquerades on Halloween as Environmentalist, Friend of the Community


‘The Donald’ is known for a lot of things—running casinos, building luxury towers, investing in golf courses—but protecting the environment is not one of them. So when Newsday reports that Trump is interested in buying Plum Island to build a luxury golf course, clubhouse, and helicopter landing pads instead of allowing conservationists to convert the property into a wildlife refuge—WARNING WARNING!!—red flags go up.

Plum Island, the 840-acre island located off Long Island’s North Fork, has been home to a federal animal disease research facility since 1954. The rest of the island has become a home for wildlife, providing critical habitat for a number of Long Island Sound species. Unfortunately, in 2009, the federal government announced its intentions to sell Plum Island to defray the cost of a new lab being built in Kansas, which is set to open in 2019.

Recently, environmentalists worked with officials in the Town of Southold to rezone the island to prohibit precisely the type of development Trump envisions. Selling Plum Island to Donald Trump would not only jeopardize sensitive wildlife habitat, add pollution to the Long Island Sound, and limit future public use; it could also threaten other environmental initiatives down the road as well.  One such example is in Scotland.

In 2006, Donald Trump purchased a 200-acre property 12 miles north of Aberdeen, Scotland; where he is spending hundreds of millions to build a golf resort. SOUND FAMILIAR?

In May of this year, Trump filed suit in Scottish courts to block the construction of an offshore wind farm. Why? “This ridiculous wind farm,” he argues, “will ruin the view” from his planned golf establishment, which is expected to be a lavish enclave of houses, hotels, time shares, restaurants, and leisure activity facilities. So, while Scotland is embracing renewables to fight climate change, Trump is fighting them.  Not very environmentally friendly in our opinion.

The European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC), an 11-turbine wind farm that would be located 1.2 miles off the northeast coast of Scotland, would power 68,000 households and provide an installed capacity of 100 megawatts. Embracing renewables to cut emissions in the face of climate change—what a disaster!

Anyone who’s seen The Apprentice on TV knows Trump is a tough adversary with deep pockets. And he’s willing to fight the Scottish government for as long as it takes. As silly as he sounds touting wind farms as environmental disasters, this situation quickly turns from laughable to sad when you consider that taxpayers’ money is going to have to be used to defend a case against Mr. Trump. Even more upsetting is the idea that one man would seek to undermine an entire nation’s ability to embrace clean energy resources.

So when Trump says, “Things like that could be taken care of,” to those expressing concerns over his plans, what he really means is, he’ll spend millions until he gets his way.  And when he says, “I think the community would love what we would do [with Plum Island]. We’re adored all over the world.” CCE is  calling his bluff.  We are not loving what he’s proposing and are saying NO to Donald Trump.  Undeveloped islands in the Sound are rare and should be protected. The only environmental disaster lurking here is a very bad Trump proposal.

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