NEWTON, Iowa– Iowa’s wind energy industry says President Donald Trump’s claims against wind energy are nothing more than hot air.
Wind energy supports 9,000 jobs in Iowa and that number increases every year.
Now, some of those employees fear President Trump’s false claims, and stance on wind energy could reverse the trend.
“I wanted to get his opinion about what he thought about the future of our town,” Newton resident Patricia Scalabrini said.
Back in 2015, Channel 13 News hosted a town hall meeting in Newton. The city is home to two large wind turbine manufacturing plants, TPI Composites and Trinity Structural Towers.
Scalabrini’s husband works for TPI and she pressed then presidential candidate Trump.
“It’s the company that moved into the old (Maytag building) and I have a question for you. What is your position on subsidies for wind energy?” Scalibrini asked.
“Well I am OK with it, I know a lot about wind it is a tough business,” responded Trump.
But Scalabrini says she wasn’t fooled.
“I really got a negative feeling after he answered my question because I realized he said it was very expensive and he leaned more towards fossil fuels subsidies.”
Now, four years later, Scalabrini says she isn`t surprised by the Trumps latest anti-wind comments.
“No. Wind`s not good. And you have no idea how expensive it is to make those things. They are all made in China and Germany,” Trump said.
Scalabrini`s left worrying that the lack of support from the President could put her husband out of a job.
“It would be a big negative issue to this town if they were to close.”
TPI says it employs 1,100 people in Newton, the city says that has a huge economic impact.
“They are a key part of our revitalization, all of the jobs that were lost when Maytag left have been replaced one for one and then some, and wind energy has been key to that,” Newton Community Director Erin Chambers said.