Hackberry, Louisiana - President Trump on Promoting Energy Infrastructure and Economic Growth:
THE PRESIDENT: I like that song so much. Just keep it going, right? (Laughter and applause.) Lee Greenwood. Thank you, Lee. And I want to thank everybody — Jeff — for the beautiful introduction. What a job you and everybody have done.
It’s great to be here with the incredible men and women who are making America into the energy superpower of the world. We’ve just gotten to number one not so long ago. A few months ago. This was not going to happen with somebody else in office, that I can tell you. (Applause.)
I was saying, things that took 25 years before they got disapproved. In other words, they’d work on them for 20, 25 years, and then they wouldn’t get approved. We’re getting them done in less than a year. (Applause.) And if they’re not good for the environment, they won’t get approved. They won’t get approved. But at least you’ll know, one way or the other. We’re getting them done quickly or we’re letting them know they don’t work. But we’re finding that most of them do. Most of them do.
And today, we celebrate the amazing workers at Sempra Energy as you open the Cameron LNG Export Facility for business. I’ve never seen anything like this in my life. This is incredible. (Applause.) This is incredible.
And knowing the group very well that did it — they have two more phases that they’re probably going to be starting pretty soon. I know I shouldn’t say that, Jeff, but that’s the way it is. (Laughter.)
From right here in Hackberry, Louisiana, you will very soon — (applause) — be exporting clean, American natural gas all over the globe. With the incredible grit, skill, and pride, the 7,000 workers at this facility are helping lead the American energy revolution. That’s what it is. Number one in the world. Not even close.
And, you know, I just approved a lot of pipelines going through Texas and other places, including, as you know, the Keystone XL pipeline I approved. (Applause.) The Dakota Access pipeline. These were lines that were worked on for a long time, and they never would have happened. We did them, I think, in my first week. And it’s great. It’s great. And it’s clean and it’s environmentally better than the alternatives. You know that.
In Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and states all across our land, workers like you are lighting up our homes, powering our factories, and reducing energy costs for hardworking American families. You are not only making our nation wealthier, but you are making America safer by building a future of American energy independence. We are independent. We don’t need anybody. We don’t need anybody. (Applause.)
And we don’t need to be ripped off by the rest of the world either, because those days are over. (Applause.) You know, I went around — I used to — especially in my previous life, I’d go around and I’d see these airports in different countries. The most incredible airports in the world. Then I’d come home; I’d land at LaGuardia. (Laughter.) Or I’d land at Kennedy or Newark, I’d land in LAX, and they are not the same.
We used to be the leader, but we’re going to be the leader again. And we have things designed right now that nobody would have ever believed. We will be the leader again, and it’s going to happen very quickly, and it’s already happening. And, by the way, this is a big factor, when you look right behind me. It’s really happening, because few people have anything like this, anywhere in the world. (Applause.)
And now, instead of relying on foreign oil and foreign energy, we are now relying on American energy and American workers like never before. And, you know, we work with other countries and we work with their energy, and we take their energy, and we buy it, we produce it — but we don’t need to if we don’t have to, if we don’t want to. It just works out pretty well that way. But anytime we want, we can stop.
The energy we produce here in our country is better, cheaper, and cleaner than our foreign competitors, and it’s not even close. You people know that better than anybody; that’s your business.
We’re thrilled to be joined by many of the great leaders from Louisiana, a state I love very much. And based on the votes — (laughter) — I should love it very much. (Applause.) I should. And I do love it. And I love the people. I love the people of Louisiana. Very special people.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: (Inaudible.)
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, darling. Thank you very much.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: We love Trump!
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. I even like that guy that just said it. (Laughter.)
I want to just introduce some of my friends, some of my warriors. They’re warriors. And they really helped me a lot. You know, we’ve done a lot. Nobody has done more in the first two years of an administration — no matter where.
The fake news back there — look at all of them back. Ay-ya-yay. (Laughter.) Fake news. (Applause.) They’re going to be very famous. They’re going to be very famous tonight. Some will go and sign movie contracts tonight. Look at these guys. (Laughter.)
But we have great people and they’re tremendously talented. Senator John Kennedy. John, stand up. (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you, John. He’s a tremendous man.
Senator Bill Cassidy. (Applause.) Dr. Bill. Dr. Bill. Nobody knows more about healthcare and medicine. Whenever I have a question — I’m sorry, John — we call that man. You do and I do. Because there’s nobody like Bill for that. And we’re working on some great things. And thank you very much, Bill — you and John, and the whole group.
Also, a man who’s perhaps braver than I am: House Republican Whip Steve Scalise. (Applause.) I hate to admit it. No, I hate to admit it. I hate to admit it, folks, but he got — you know, he was playing in the baseball game against the Democrats and he was not in such great shape, but he wouldn’t miss it. And he’s at a big stadium. That was at the stadium, right?
And I couldn’t believe it. I was watching it on television. Secret Service says, “You can’t go, sir.” “I want to go.” But they said, “You can’t.” He’s standing at second base. Not the first batter, but the first pitch, he gets a shot hit right at him, but it was hard. I said, “I don’t believe it.” I couldn’t see where the ball was going, but I could see it was going to second, and I knew who was standing at second: Steve.
And Steve went through a little problem, right? I saw him that night, and it looked like he wasn’t going to make it. I knew that night that his wife loved him, because she was crying like I’ve never seen a woman cry before. I called — I said, “Steve…” — about a month later, I said, “Steve, your wife and family loves you.” Because I know some cases where it’s not quite that way. (Laughter.) Not quite. In fact, sometimes you see smiles on their faces. (Laughter.) And I say to that, “You’re in trouble. This isn’t working.” But you have a great family.
But the ball is hit to Steve really hard. And, all of the sudden, they show a picture: He’s on the ground. That ball is right there. He picked up that ball, and he got it, and they made it out. I said, “That’s the most incredible thing.” And I compared him to the great Bobby Richardson — 12 years on the New York Yankees. He had the greatest range of any second baseman ever, they say. He would field them behind shortstop. He would field them. So Steve can only move about six inches. (Laughter.) But I’ll tell you what: There was no chance that that ball was going through. Right, Steve? No chance. He got it out. (Applause.)
And then they did something very smart: They took him out of the game. He came out like the biggest hero. One out. You’re the greatest, Steve. I appreciate it. And everybody in this country appreciates you, okay? (Applause.) Brave guy. Brave guy.
And another brave and hardened representative, somebody that has helped us all the time: Clay Higgins. (Applause.) Clay. Thank you, Clay. We got some good ones over here. Thank you, Clay.
Mike Johnson. Mike? Thank you, Mike. (Applause.) Fantastic job. Highly respected. Thank you.
Ralph Abraham. Ralph. (Applause.) Great job, Ralph. And Garret Graves. Thank you very much. (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you, Garret. Thank you. That’s a great group of people. They really help us. We got a lot done: tax cuts and regulation cuts. Without the regulations, I hate to say it, but you wouldn’t be looking at these monster, beautiful pieces of art, because I call them “pieces of art.”
Thanks also to Louisiana Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser. (Applause.) Where’s Billy? Where is he? Billy, thank you. Thank you, Billy.
Attorney General Jeff Landry. (Applause.) Thanks, Jeff. Thank you, Jeff. And Agricultural Commissioner Mike Strain. (Applause.) Thank you very much. Thanks, Mike.
You’ve got good people here.
Also with us is Deputy Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette. Dan. (Applause.) Dan. Good job. Good job.
And we have some of our big people from our around the world, because you’re going to be selling energy all around the world. Louisiana starts here and then it goes around the world. Our Ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland. Thank you, Gordon. (Applause.) Where is he? Great job. Good.
And he brought along with the Vice President of the European Commission, Maroš Šefčovič. (Applause.) Maroš, thank you very much. Thank you.
European Union. I said, before, they’re just as tough as China; they’re just a little bit smaller. (Laughter.) They’re pretty tough, too. They’re all tough. You know, when they look at your country as not being strong, from certain standpoints — like when they’re used to taking advantage of your country, they all get very much tougher than they should be. But that’s all changing very quickly. Amazing how quickly.
I especially want to thank Sempra Energy’s Chairman and CEO, Jeff Martin. Jeff, that was great, what you said and what you’ve done. (Applause.) Thank you for the tour. Your company President, Justin Bird, and your Chief Operating Officer, Lisa Glatch. That was a great tour. Thank you, Lisa. (Applause.) Thank you very much. Thank you very much. Great tour.
It was not long ago that Sempra planned to build a natural gas import terminal on this very spot. That was in the past,
when our leaders pursued policies that were anti-American energy and anti-American worker and anti-America wealth. It all ended. But those days are over. Now we have an America First energy policy, just like we have an America First policy. It’s music to people’s ears. (Applause.)
So we believe in unlocking our nation’s resources, empowering our country’s workers, and bringing back our wealth. Because our wealth was taken, our jobs were taken, our plants were closed. And then they’d come back, build a product, and sell it into our country for no tax, no nothing. So we lose the jobs, we lose the taxes, we lose the wealth, and another country builds the products and they send it in, no tax. Well, that’s changing. You saw that. That’s changing rapidly. That’s changing rapidly. (Applause.)
I always said — I always said maybe that’s our biggest group. We have so many supporters. On that beautiful day in November 2016 — and I’m sure nobody remembers that beautiful day. Does anybody remember that? (Laughter.) That’s one of the highest-rated days in the history of television. (Applause.) One of the highest. One of the highest-rated days. Did anybody not watch television that night? All over the world, they were watching.
But soon, when this facility is fully operational, you’ll export up to 15 million tons of liquefied natural gas every single year. That’s a massive amount. One of the biggest in the world.
To put that massive capacity in perspective, this facility alone could soon supply over 40 percent of the natural gas Germany imported from Russia in 2017, or 25 percent of the LNG imported by the European Union in 2018. See that? We’ll sell you a lot of natural gas.
There’s only one problem Jeff told me: You sold out for 20 years. Can you believe it? You sold out, right? So we can’t sell them anything more, can we? You better build those additional monsters, please. Got to get started on — come on, Jeff. What’s taking so long? Sold out for 20 years, like an office building. But you make more money. And, boy, I’ll tell you, it’s great for the country.
This extraordinary turnaround is possible because, under my administration, we have ended the war on American energy and we have ended the economic assault on our wonderful energy workers. And you were under assault. (Applause.)
And now they talk about the Green New Deal. The Green New Deal. Everybody go home. You’ve just lost your jobs.
AUDIENCE: Booo —
THE PRESIDENT: The Green New Deal is — that’s a hoax, like the hoax I just went through. (Laughter.) I’m not even sure. It might be a bigger one. And mine was pretty big. Mine was unlimited. Think of it: the Green New Deal. Under that deal, I didn’t have this. This isn’t down.
But John Kennedy, Bill — under that deal, everybody in this room gets fired. All of the thousands of guys and women standing on these building get fired; they go home. Because under the Green New Deal, they don’t like clean, beautiful natural gas. They don’t like anything. They don’t know what they like. They sort of like wind, even though it kills all the birds. You want to see a bird cemetery? Go under a windmill sometime. You’ll see the saddest — (applause) — you got every type of bird.
You know, in California, you go to jail for five years if you kill a bald eagle. If you go under a windmill, you see them all over the place. Not a good situation. But that’s what they were counting on: wind. And when the wind doesn’t blow, you don’t watch television that night. (Laughter.) Your wife said, “What the hell did you get me into with this Green New Deal, Charlie?”
By unleashing American oil, natural gas, and clean coal, workers like you are helping to fuel America’s historic economic boom. And that’s what it is. There’s never been anything like this. And all over, we have plants going up of different kinds. We have the greatest economy in the history of our country.
Last month, we created another 263,000 jobs, crushing expectations. The Wall Street geniuses said: Maybe 160. That’s pretty good, by the way. No, we beat them by a lot. And since the election, we created nearly 6 million jobs, including 57,000 new oil and gas pipeline construction jobs. (Applause.)
And in 2018 alone, America added over 150,000 brand new energy jobs. And I told your great senators that if we get elected, if I win my race and we get it just the way we want it — and I think we’re going to win it big.
I’m looking at the competition. You sort of dream about competition like that, but who knows. (Laughter.) Who knows? I got Buttigieg. I got ’em all.
I got Beto. Beto. Beto is falling fast. What the hell happened? Remember, about four weeks ago, he said, “I was made for this.” He was made for it. He was made to fall like a rock. (Laughter.) What happened to him? But he’s trying to restart his campaign. That generally doesn’t work out too well. Political geniuses — when you have to restart your campaign, history has said that that does not work out well, right? History has said that that’s trouble. But he’s going to restart his campaign.
But I’m looking at it — I don’t know what the hell happened to Biden. What happened to him? I’m looking and I said, “That doesn’t look like the guy I knew.” What happened to him?
And Bernie — you know, Bernie is crazy. (Laughter.) Bernie is crazy. But Bernie has got a lot more energy than Biden, so you never know. (Applause.) No, no, Bernie has got a lot of energy, but it’s energy to get rid of your jobs. He’s got the opposite energy that you produce. Not good energy. You don’t like his energy. You know — so it’s going to be one of these people.
Pocahontas, I think, is probably out. (Laughter.) Boy, you got some beauties there. Three hundred and fifty million people and that’s the best we can do. (Laughter.) I don’t think so. Even as Democrats I could pick better than that. (Laughter.)
In the first quarter of this year, the economy grew an annual rate of 3.2 percent, smashing projections. Remember, they thought it would be about 1. First quarter is always the lowest. They thought it would be about 1. And then the day of, they said, “But, you know, we’re doing really well but maybe it will be up to 2, maybe 1 and a half.” Right, fellas? And then it came out 3.2, and everybody was freaking out except me. I said, you know, we’re doing really well. And again, the first quarter is always the weakest. Almost always is the weakest quarter. So, 3.2 percent.
Now, when I ran, they were all saying, “You can’t say 3 percent.” And last year, we hit 3 percent for the year. And we had one month at 4.2 percent. And, frankly, if interest rates would come down a little bit, we’d do 5 percent. If I get a little help — need a little help. Got to get my little help there. I’m not going to be a wise guy. I want a little help. A little lower interest rates, a little quantitative easing. Just a little bit, we’d hit 5.
Unemployment is at its lowest rate in 51 years. (Applause.) African American, Asian American, and Hispanic American unemployment have reached all-time, historic lows. Never lower in the history of our country.
So let’s say — (applause) — right? So let’s say I’m on the debate stage and we start talking, and I say, “Well, you know, we have the lowest rate ever for African American, for Asian, for Hispanic.” All I have to do is say that and walk off the stage. I guess you win the debate. Who’s going to beat you at that? In the history of our country, they’re the best unemployment rates.
And for the first time in a very long time, wages are actually rising. I would talk during the campaign that people that worked 21 years ago, one job would make more than they were making 3 years ago before I got things going. And they would make more money from 21 years ago than they did 3 years ago. And they had three jobs and two jobs. And now they’re making money.
And they’re also having choice. You know I got the Veteran’s Choice. First time in 44 years, the veterans have choice — (applause) — where they can go pick a doctor if they have to wait on line for four weeks. They can go pick a doctor instead of waiting for two days, three days. If they have to wait they go out, pick a doctor, and we pay the bill.
And we actually — I don’t want to say because I don’t do it for that reason, but we actually saved a lot of money. But we’re taking care of our veterans.
Well, we have the same choice on jobs, because now not only are wages rising but, very importantly, you’ve got a choice of jobs. If you don’t like what you’re doing — you got to want to wake up. I do. Despite all of the stuff that we go through and despite being in the swamp of Washington — and it is a swamp, but we are knocking the hell out of the swamp creatures, as we call them. We’re knocking the hell — they’ve never had a time like this. They’re saying, “What the hell is going on?”
But I love getting up in the morning. I love what I do because I’m doing a service for millions of people. And I love it.
Well, jobs are the same thing. You got to love it. And if you don’t love it, get something else. So not only do you have rising wages, you have choice. You can go out if you’re unhappy with your job. If you don’t like the boss, you don’t like something, go out. You have six, seven, eight alternatives. And you’ll find something that you really do love and you really do look forward to waking up in the morning and going to work.
Last year, a record 73 percent of newly employed workers were people out of the workforce who were coming off the sidelines. The previous administration tried to put America’s vast energy resources under lock and key. “We don’t want energy.” I don’t know what they were thinking. And they tried to put energy producers out of business. But no more. It’s a great business. It’s a vital business for our country.
We’re opening up ANWR in Alaska, one of the biggest sites anywhere in the world. (Applause.) They’ve been trying to get that approved since before Ronald Reagan. Nobody could get it approved. Ronald Reagan couldn’t get it approved. Nobody could it get it approved. We got it approved, and they’re working on it right now.
We’re unlocking the full oil and gas potential of the Permian Basin in Texas and New Mexico, and sending it right here to you. And you’re taking it over and you’re doing a good job. And you’re shipping it all over.
We ended the moratorium that stopped new coal leasing on federal lands. We have the folks here that are responsible for doing that. They are dong an incredible job.
I withdrew the United States from the terrible, very expensive, one-sided Paris Climate Accord. (Applause.) You just take a look at Paris. The President is a friend of mine. Sometimes I’ll call him up, “How’s it doing over there? How you doing in Paris?” “Not so good. Not so good.” The yellow vests.
And you know that was all about the accord, because they were charging people tremendous amount of money and sending that money all over the world to countries that they never heard of, and the people got tired of it.
I saved $1 trillion by not going with the Paris Accord. And I thought I’d take a lot of heat, and instead we’ve been praised for not doing it. We’ve been praised. (Applause.)
The Paris Accord was an agreement that it would have shut down clean energy production in America, while allowing top foreign polluters to do whatever the hell they wanted. It was a restriction on America. It was almost made to hold us back. And nothing is holding us back.
No longer will we allow other countries to tie America’s hands and take America’s jobs and hurt America’s energy. (Applause.)
And we’re replacing the EPA — Environmental Protection Agency, for those who don’t know that sound. EPA. We’re taking their job-killing Clean Power Plan. It’s got a beautiful title; that’s where it ends. Which would have actually made the environment less clean by shifting energy production to foreign countries. So instead of doing this, you would have foreign countries doing that and then shipping it back.
I don’t think that works out too well, fellas. What do you think? No good? No good, right? John says, “No good.” That means it’s no good.
And we’re focusing the EPA on its core mission: ensuring clean air and crystal clean water for our citizens. And our air right now is cleaner than it’s ever been. (Applause.)
And one of the things I told to Bill and Steve and John, coming over — we were in the Beast; we traveled in the Beast. I think it’s the world’s most expensive army tank, right? The windows, the walls. But they said, “Sir, we’d love to have John Kennedy saying, “Whatever you could do…” — I-10 bridge. You know the I-10 bridge?
AUDIENCE: Yeah! (Applause.)
THE PRESIDENT: Cal-casc-ieu-shu. (Laughter.) But I like I-10 much better. Can we go by I-10? Do you mind? Okay. You know, you’ve been saying that word your whole lives. Me, I just heard it about 20 minutes ago. (Laughter.)
So the I-10 bridge — and I say this, and I give you this commitment. And I can’t play with these three — Steve, John, Bill, everybody sitting here. If we win this election, which is just 16 months away, we’re giving you a brand new I-10 bridge. (Applause.) I didn’t know it was going to be that popular. (Laughter.)
And we’re going to start work on it right away because I think we’re going to win, so we want to prepared. Okay? So we’ll start work on it right away in terms of planning everything. And let’s do a beauty, okay? But it’s a very unsafe bridge — a lot of problems. And we’re going to give you a new one. They’ve been trying to do it for a long time. So we’re going to start planning and development right away. And we’ll have it all set to go day one, right after the election, okay? (Applause.) Good.
And just last month, I signed two executive orders to cut the red tape, holding back new energy infrastructure like we see here today. Without what we’ve done, you could have never had this approved. I think Jeff would say that very easily. Without what we did, you could have never gotten this done. It would have taken you many years. And I say, “Many years prior to rejection.” They go years and years.
The result of our efforts has been an incredible resurgence of the American energy production. This quarter, the
United States produced record amounts of oil and natural gas. I will tell you, the natural gas, not even close. The oil, not even close.
Since the election, private companies have invested in a half a trillion dollars in the U.S. energy industry. They put half a trillion dollars, and it looks like it’s going substantially up from there, including in this great state where many tremendous projects of all different types are planned. And not only in the energy business, in other businesses also.
In the past two years, we’ve expanded our LNG exports to the world by nearly 500 percent. (Applause.) Five hundred percent. And it was heading south, folks. It was heading south, fast.
The United States has now been a net exporter of natural gas for two straight years, and our net energy imports are at the lowest level that we’ve had in over 60 years. In other words, bringing it in. The lowest in 60 years.
In 2018, American energy exports alone brought down our trade deficit by $215 billion. And we’re pursuing a vision not just of energy independence but of American energy dominance. When we get those pipelines approved, you’ll see it go up 30 and 40 percent from already number one in the world. (Applause.)
By the end of next year, America’s LNG export capacity will more than double. Think of that. But what does it really mean? It means jobs, jobs, jobs. That’s what it means. (Applause.) Jobs, jobs, jobs.
And thanks to our historic tax cuts and reform — everybody here got a tax cut. Everybody. Big one. Sempra Energy is bringing billions of dollars back home to America right where it belongs. After years of rebuilding foreign countries, we are now rebuilding our country instead. (Applause.)
As we continue to grow the industries of the future, we’re training our workers for the jobs of the future. And we’re now living by two simple rules: buy American and hire American. Sounds good. (Applause.)
And that’s why my administration started the Pledge to America’s Workers. Our partners have committed to provide nearly 8 million training and enhanced career opportunities to their American workforce. I’m proud to announce that Sempra Energy just signed the pledge and agreed to train 1,000 Americans to build our energy future. Thank you, Jeff, for that. And we really appreciate it. Thank you. Great. (Applause.)
We want every American to know the dignity of work, the pride of a paycheck, and the satisfaction of a job well done. We do not believe in socialism. Okay? Is that all right to say? (Applause.) Think that’s okay? I think so.
If we had socialism here, you’d have nothing standing. And if it was standing from previous generations, it would be falling down right now.
When we have a soaring economy, millions of hardworking people can wake up every day excited to use their talents and provide their families, lift up their community, and strengthen our country.
Here with us today are several tremendous workers who want to tell us what America’s energy revolution means to them. Ronald Nunez lost his energy job over 20 years ago, back in 2015. It’s a lot longer than 20 years ago. I mean, I don’t know who the hell put that. (Laughter.) But he did lose it. They had the wrong number, but they had the right number of years. Twenty years.
Where’s my speechwriter? Congratulations. (Laughter.) Thank God I don’t read it too often. (Laughter.)
Thanks to our great — 20 years; think of that. Thanks to our great energy revival, he’s now back to work. He’s working hard. He’s making a lot of money.
Ronald, please come up. Tell your story. Please, come. (Applause.)
MR. NUNEZ: Good afternoon, everyone. My name is Ronald Nunez, and I wanted to tell you about my journey here to CLNG — to Cameron LNG.
For over 20 years, I worked at a plant just a few miles south of here, and I planned to retire there. And then the news came that the — the news came of lack of gas and energy, and contracts — (applause) — my plant would be shut down on November the 30th, 2015, and all employees would be terminated effective immediately. So with one week’s notice, and two week’s paycheck in my pocket, I went home and was very concerned for my family’s future.
We didn’t have any health insurance, and we went — looked towards the Affordable Care Act, which we really couldn’t afford. So I — (applause) — after several months of worry and stress, Cameron LNG’s job fair hired me and many of my co-workers. (Applause.) Great — great benefits. Great benefits, great savings plans, great health insurance.
Thanks to Cameron LNG and the now growing natural gas industry, my family’s future was once again restored. (Applause.) Thanks to Cameron LNG and the President’s policies — the President of the United States — it’s all right. I’m a little nervous. I’m proud to be a part of this endeavor to operate a world-class facility and distribute LNG around the world. (Applause.) Thanks, everyone.
THE PRESIDENT: Beautiful job. Beautiful job. Thank you.
Great job. That’s from the heart. You’re going to run for office at all, Ron? He’ll be announcing tomorrow. Be careful, fellas. (Laughter.) Great job. Thank you, Ron.
I’d also like to invite Kat Stevens, who retrained and found a job here when she needed it most. And she’s got a tremendous story to tell. And I want to thank you, Kat. And also — Kat? Where’s Kat? Kat. Where’s Kat? Come up here, Kat. Come up here. (Applause.) Say a few words. Thank you.
MS. STEVENS: Thank you. Nice meeting you.
Hello, everyone. My story is more of a journey than a story. It started in 2014 when my husband lost his oil field job. He was a drilling supervisor of 13 years. And ours, like Ronald, was immediate. We have seven children, from college to elementary school. No income, no insurance. It was a lot.
I went to the job fair and met several people from Cameron LNG, and decided at that point I needed to go back college. So, I went to SOWELA Community College here in Lake Charles. (Applause.) And with the support of my family, and my parents especially, and my husband, I graduated ahead of time. I got to do my internship out here and just absolutely fell in love with everybody out here — the culture, the people, everything they stand for.
And as soon as I graduated, Mr. Dan Callens hired me, and I’ve been here ever since. And it’s just — it’s fabulous. Everything that they stand for — they do truly stand for safety above all because they realize that I have a family to go home to. Everyone out here has a family to go home to. We’re all children of someone. And that means a lot to me. It really does.
And, Mr. Trump, and Sempra, thank you so much for everything you’ve done. And thank you for your energy independence.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much.
MS. STEVENS: It’s going to be great for my family. (Applause.)
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Kat. Beautiful job. Thank you very much, Kat.
Also with us is Nicole Fries. Nicole, please come up. You have a great story to tell. Thank you very much.
MS. FRIES: Hello. Thank you, President Trump, for inviting me to share my experience at Cameron LNG.
As I stand here today and look around, I am truly amazed by what has been accomplished by the Cameron LNG team. Just a few years ago, we were all standing in a marsh. Today, we stand beside the newest edition to the United States energy infrastructure.
Our world-class LNG facility represents so much to me: overcoming obstacles; family; and teamwork at the top of my list.
In 2017, during the construction of this facility, I was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of breast cancer. Thirty-five days after my initial diagnosis, I was undergoing major surgery, which was just the first step of many in the battle to save my life. The people at Sempra and Cameron LNG rallied around me immediately. They brought food for my family, they helped with the care of my young children, they donated money to support us, and they sent constant words of encouragement and prayers.
The moment I was ready to come back to work, I was received with open arms back into my position, which they had held for me for eight months. I am so grateful for the support from the team at Cameron LNG. For me, being employed at Cameron feels like working for a mom-and-pop shop but with a Fortune 500 backing.
So many doors of opportunity have been opened for me and my family as the industry continues to grow. I am so proud to be a part of the team at Cameron and Sempra.
I would like to thank President Trump for all he has done to help us start building infrastructure again. Thank you, President Trump. (Applause.)
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. And through the hard work of people like Ronald, and Kat, and Nicole, and every patriot here today, we are making life brighter and better for all Americans. And I just thank the three of you. Thank you very much. What a great job. Great inspiration. Thank you. Thank you very much. (Applause.)
But despite all of this exciting news, there are some in this country who are more determined than ever to put American energy out of business. You know that.
Over 100 Democrat members of Congress have sponsored that Green New Deal, a radical plan — if you’ve ever heard it. They want to put you out. They want to stop coal. They want to stop oil. They want to stop nuclear. They want to stop practically anything.
On my watch, we will never let radical activists, special interests, and out-of-control bureaucrats wreck our economy, eliminate our jobs, or destroy your future. We won’t let it happen. And these people will not let it happen. (Applause.) They won’t let it happen.
We know that American energy workers like the ones here at Cameron LNG are the foundation of American strength. That’s what you are: the foundation of our strength.
As we embrace the potential of our country’s God-given abundance, we are also strengthening our national security. By reducing our dependence on foreign sources of energy, we have dramatically increased our power to confront our adversaries, support our friends, and fight for our interests.
For example, American allies all around the world, like in Poland and Lithuania, are now using American natural gas to reduce their dependence on countries who use energy as a weapon of coercion.
In Venezuela and Iran, we’re now holding dangerous regimes accountable by denying them oil revenue to fund their corruption, oppression, and terror.
Since I took office, the United States has increased oil production by over 3.2 million barrels per day. That’s an incredible number. (Applause.) And that 3.2 million barrels completely surpasses the crude oil exports from Venezuela and Iran. And we’ve subtracted that from the world market until such time as things work out and work out properly for those millions of people.
Unfortunately, politicians in California, New York, and other states risk our economy and our national security by blocking vital energy resources from being developed and energy infrastructure, like this, from being built. These states could be ports for shipping energy to our friends and allies, but instead of helping our partners, they’re hurting America.
I have a simple message for these politicians that do such damage to our country: We should be producing energy at home, not enriching foreign adversaries abroad. That’s what we’re doing: We’re making a lot of people wealthy. But it’s getting less and less wealthy every week.
And they should be supporting great American workers, like you, and the astonishing changes that you’re making possible with your own two hands.
Just a few days ago, you began work on your first shipment of American natural gas extracted by American workers and transported through American pipelines. As it came in, your trained teams began to liquefy the gas, cooling it down to
260 degrees below zero.
When the process is done, you will load that LNG onto a tanker. And from there, the first shipment of Cameron LNG will travel down the Gulf of Mexico, through the Panama Canal, and off to Asia to illuminate cities on the other side. We will have such illumination like you haven’t believed. They’re going to be illuminated like never before. They’re talking about it. They’re excited. Some of the countries don’t have lots of money; we’re making good deals and we’re making things possible for them.
The energy revolution that you’re leading is an incredible story, and it could only be written right here.
In the past, pundits and politicians claimed that America was running out of oil and natural gas. They were saying it 10 years ago, 5 years ago. I was hearing it all the time. They said the United States would never again be an energy powerhouse. They said that Americans would have to learn to get by with much, much, much less. But you proved them wrong.
When American workers were given the chance, you silenced the critics and shattered the predictions. Now, thanks to America, and thanks to all of the great permits and approvals and financing, and all of the things we’ve been able to do together, America is working, America is thriving, America is booming, and America is winning like never before. (Applause.)
You are powering our cities, uplifting our nation, and you are lighting up the world. You’re building a better future for our families and for our children, and for every patriot. And you are true patriots who salutes our great American flag. You’re making America safer, prouder, stronger, and greater than ever before.
I just want to say this has been a great honor to be with you today. This is a special day. This is your first day in many, many, many days of producing something that is very special. It’s a tremendous achievement. I want to congratulate everybody involved in this project. And most importantly, I want to congraduate — I want to congratulate the state of Louisiana and all of the work we’ve done together with the federal government. And I want to congratulate the workers, because ultimately it doesn’t work without the workers. (Applause.)
Thank you. God bless you. And God bless America. Thank you. Thank you.