Trump lies to Iowa pt 1: The magical solar-powered border wall that pays for itself!

  • Published on June 22nd, 2017

President Trump went to Iowa last night to campaign some more, since governing is hard. Also, telling the truth is hard, and apparently Trump just can’t help himself. Let’s take a look at his lies on the environment, starting with the magical solar-powered border wall.

By Jeremy Bloom

Trump hates wind, but now Trump loves solar!

How great would it be if Mexico didn’t have to pay for the wall because it pays for itself?

Of course, that begs the question – if putting solar panels on the wall would pay for it, why don’t we put solar panels on everything else and not build any more coal plants? But that’s logic, which is not welcome here.

The cutest bit is – he lied about talking about his very own solar-powered border wall plan.

“You know people don’t realize we’re already spending a lot of money and design but I’ll give you an idea that nobody has heard about yet and I’m not sure, but I’m a builder. That’s what I love to do. That’s probably what I do best.

I’m a builder and we’re thinking of something that’s unique. We’re talking about the southern border, lots of Sun, lots of heat. We’re thinking about building the wall as a solar wall so it creates energy. And pays for itself

And this way Mexico will have to pay much less money and that’s good right.

You’re the first group I’ve told that to. Solar wall. Makes sense.”


What a great idea! Why didn’t he announce it sooner! Oh wait… he did. To a bunch of his GOP Congressional colleagues.

And the answer, of course: Business Insider did the calculations, and worked out that IF a solar wall could pay for itself, “It would take decades.”

The wall is expected to cost in the $BILLIONS, even without installing solar panels. IF somebody built all the infrastructure to send that power to homes and cities that need it, a reasonable scenario for how much money it would bring in is around $100 million a year.

In other words, NO.

But of course, he couldn’t just end it there. Nope.

“Pretty good imagination, no? My idea!”


Would it surprise you to learn that he didn’t think it up all on his own? Nope, he stole it, without giving credit, from one of the companies that put in a bid to the Department of trump's magical solar-powered border wall by faro.nlHomeland Security. As Lloyd Alter reported at Treehugger, “Although the President claims that it was his idea, the pump was primed for this by one of the respondents to Homeland Security’s proposal call a few months ago, from Gleason Partners.”

(He’s getting a little dig in there about an earlier bizarro Trump claim, when he told the Wall Street Journal that he had just invented the phrase “Prime the Pump” – a core concept of Keynesian economics that goes back to at least the 1930s. But nobody bothers him about that stuff, since they only hound a politician mercilessly if their name is Gore or Clinton).

And Gleason in turn may have cribbed the notion from a Dutch architectural firm, Faro. (Their earnings estimate for the magical solar-powered border wall: $320 million a year.)

In his piece at Treehugger,  Alter had a much more innovative suggestion: Build the wall out of COAL…

About the Author

Jeremy Bloom is the Editor of RedGreenAndBlue. He lives in New York, where he combines his passion for the environment with his passion for film, and is working on making the world a better place.

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