The debate over how to power America is raging and is playing a role in the presidential election.
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Speaking to reporters on Thursday afternoon, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said he is open to using different types of energy, but has concerns over the cost effectiveness of certain renewable sources.
“The problem with solar is it’s very expensive. When you have a 30-year payback, that’s not exactly the greatest thing in the world,” Trump said, adding that he has “gone solar on occasion.”
Trump also criticized wind power due to its cost and how it can impact America’s wildlife population.
“Without subsidy, wind doesn’t work,” he said. “If you go to various places in California, wind is killing all of the eagles. If you shoot an eagle or you kill an eagle, they want to put you in jail for five years. And yet the windmills are killing hundreds and hundreds of eagles. One of the most beautiful, one of the most treasured birds and they’re killing them by the hundreds and nothing happens. So wind is a problem.”
The GOP candidate’s comments on energy are opposite of what President Obama said earlier this year in his final State of the Union address.
“Solar is saving Americans tens of millions of dollars a year on their energy bills,” the President said in January, while adding “wind power is now cheaper than dirtier, conventional power.”
Trump warned that banning fracking could lead to more oil and gas dependence on foreign countries.
“You do that [ban fracking], you’re going to be back into the Middle East and we’re going to begging for oil again,” he said. “It’s not going to happen—not with me. We’re going to open it up. We’re going to be energy independent. We’re going to have all sorts of energy. We’re going to have everything you can think of, including solar.”