• August 8, 2020

Trump pays visit to well site - Odessa American: Local News

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Trump pays visit to well site

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Posted: Wednesday, July 29, 2020 6:32 pm

MIDLAND President Donald Trump touted the United States and Texas as a dominant energy power during remarks at an oil rig at Double Eagle Energy during his first trip to the Permian Basin as part of his re-election campaign.

Trump spoke to a crowd of around 200 invited guests Wednesday afternoon following a tour of the rig and after a fundraiser luncheon at the Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in Downtown Odessa. For this speech, Trump addressed the crowd in an air-conditioned tent in front of one of the rigs.

“It took a long time to be independent,” Trump said. “And as long as I’m your President, we will never let anyone put American energy out of business, which is what they’d like to do.”

He continued:

“We will never again be reliant on hostile foreign suppliers. We will defend your jobs, and we will defend the Lone Star State. I love this state. And we will defend America’s newfound energy independence.”

Trump’s visit to the Permian Basin marked the first time that a President has come to the area since former President George W. Bush left the White House in 2009 following the inauguration of President Barack Obama.

After he spoke, Trump, surrounded by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and other officials, signed four permits that the White House said were “for vital pipeline and railway infrastructure on our nation’s borders.”

One of those permits included export authorizations for natural gas that were extended to 2050. Another permit gives further authorization for Texas to allow the export of crude oil into Mexico.

Double Eagle Energy co-founder and co-CEO John Campbell spoke about Trump’s support for his company and the industry, calling him “a great advocate for the oil and gas industry” during his introductory remarks.

Trump spoke for about 30 minutes to the crowd, once again declaring the United States as a net energy exporter for the first time in nearly 70 years. He added that as long as he was president, he would not allow American energy to be beholden to foreign nations.

“We’re here to celebrate your achievements,” Trump said. “And we’re also here to send a clear message to the zealots, radicals, extremists trying to shut down your industry to make America subservient to foreign producers. That won’t happen to this nation again.”

Prior to the speech, there were plenty of on-lookers near Midland International Air and Space Port awaiting the arrival of the president.

The hope for many of the local residents prior to the speech was for Trump to talk about a plan to boost the oil economy back up. The industry was hit hard by the recent price collapse and demand shock due to COVID-19.

“I hope he talks about bringing the oilfield back,” Chris McMillan of Odessa said. “We just now got to where we can import and export oil and I hope that stays because they’re talking about cutting that out and that’s going to hurt us tremendously.”

McMillan was part of a group of people who parked near a warehouse off of Business I-20 near the airport to try and get a glimpse of Air Force One landing on the airport tarmac.

Another Odessa resident, Shelly Butler, echoed McMillan’s sentiment.

“That’s our livelihood here,” she said. “It’s for everyone. It’s not just the oilfield workers, but it’s everyone in the entire Permian Basin (that’s) affected by oil here. Hotels, restaurants, shopping, everything depends on the paychecks coming from the oilfield.”

Trump also gave an update regarding the coronavirus pandemic in Texas. Trump referred to it as the “China-virus.”

He added that the administration had sent 500 cases of the anti-viral Remdesivir to Texas hospitals which is enough to treat 3,200 patients across the state. Remdesivir is currently undergoing clinical trials in stages around the world.

Trump spent the majority of the speech criticizing the Democrats’ energy policy, specifically the Green New Deal. He mentioned New York Senator Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez by name, calling the plan “a disaster.”

He also issued a warning about those who try to take away from the power that American energy has built up under his administration.

He also criticized presidential Democratic nominee Joe Biden, saying that his agenda would destroy fracking, which has doubled in production since he took office.

“I don’t think Biden’s going to do too well in Texas,” Trump said. “He’s already written it off.”

The latest aggregate polling data from Realclearpolitics.com has Trump and Biden neck and neck in Texas. Trump won Ector County with 68.7 percent of the vote and 75.7 percent of the vote in Midland County in 2016.

He criticized the Democratic Party as a whole, asserting that the Democrats “want to uproot and demolish every American value.”

He then completed his time on stage by signing the four permits.

Odessa, TX

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