U.S. Department of Energy
3:31 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, everybody. Thank you very much. (Applause.) How are you?
Well I want to thank everybody on stage. They are really a terrific team. We have some of the real winners in the audience, too, that I can tell you — some great, great people.
I want to thank Vice President Pence. As always, he’s right there and he has really been a help to this administration. We have some big things happening today, and we have some very big things happening over the next month, and I guess probably I can say over the next eight years. I suspect I can say that. (Applause.)
It’s wonderful to be here with so many pioneers and visionaries from America’s energy industry — great industry. I want to thank the leaders of our great energy companies for joining us today and for supporting our efforts to bring true wealth and prosperity to our people. That’s true. Come on, give yourself a hand. (Applause.)
You deserve it. You deserve it. You’ve gone through eight years of hell, and actually I could say even a little bit more than that. You deserve it.
I also want to express our sincere gratitude to the labor union leaders and members who have joined us today. Thank you, fellas. Thank you, thank you. (Applause.) Your workers embody the skill, grit and courage that has always been the true source of American strength. They are great people. They break through rock walls, mine the depths of the earth, and reach through the ocean floor, to bring every ounce of energy into our homes and commerce and into our lives. Our nation salutes you. You’re brave and you are great workers. Thank you very much. Thank you, fellas. (Applause.)
Before turning to the topic at hand, I want to provide a brief update on two crucial votes taking place this afternoon on the House Floor — very important. These bills are vital to public safety and national security, and I want to thank Chairman Bob Goodlatte for his efforts. Bob has been working very hard and really for a long time, but we got it going.
First, the House will be voting on Kate’s Law — legislation named for Kate Steinle, who was killed by an illegal immigrant with five prior deportations and lots of bad things on his record.
The second is the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act, which blocks federal grants to cities that release dangerous criminal aliens back into the streets, including the vicious and disgusting and horrible MS-13 gang members. And we’re getting them out. We are getting them out. They’re going — fast. (Applause.)
General Kelly and his whole group — they’ve gotten rid of 6,000 so far. We’re about 50 percent there, and we’re actually liberating towns. Like on long Island, where I grew up — we’re liberating towns. Those people are so happy to see our guys, and our guys are a lot tougher than the MS-13 characters. That I can tell you. Liberation. (Applause.)
I’m calling on all lawmakers to put the safety of American families first. And let’s pass these bills through the House, through the Senate, and send them to my desk. I will give you the fastest approval, the fastest signature that you have ever seen. Right, Mike? We will get that signed so fast. (Applause.) So when we get back, the first thing I’m going to do is how did we do on the vote? I expect good things; otherwise I probably wouldn’t be talking about it to be honest with you. I’d just sort of low-key it a little bit. (Laughter.) I don’t like losing. I don’t like losing. (Laughter.) Neither do you folks. Every member of Congress should vote to save American lives. Many great members of Congress are here with us this afternoon — some great people, some great, great people. Thank you very much. Not only are they working with us on border security, but they share our desire to unleash American energy.
I especially want to thank Secretary Perry for his tremendous leadership in this department. He has really done a terrific job, and he’s also a cheerleader — he’s really a cheerleader. I watched that in Texas. The thing that I loved about him — he was always saying how great Texas was. And if you don’t say it, I don’t know. You got to say it, right? And you’re doing it right now with energy.
SECRETARY PERRY: Ain’t bragging if you can do it.
THE PRESIDENT: That’s true.
Along with Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. And we’ve been through our battles, Scott. Not with each other, with the world. And now the world is starting to say I think they’re right. (Laughter.) They’ll find out. We have no doubt. But all three of them strongly believe in putting America first, which is what I believe in, which is why I got elected. It’s called Make America Great Again — that’s what we’re doing — Make America Great Again.
We’re here today to usher in a new American energy policy — one that unlocks million and millions of jobs and trillions of dollars in wealth. For over 40 years, America was vulnerable to foreign regimes that used energy as an economic weapon. Americans’ quality of life was diminished by the idea that energy resources were too scarce to support our people. We always thought that, and actually at the time it was right to think. We didn’t think we had this tremendous wealth under our feet. Many of us remember the long gas lines and the constant claims that the world was running out of oil and natural gas.
Americans were told that our nation could only solve this energy crisis by imposing draconian restrictions on energy production. But we now know that was all a big, beautiful myth. It was fake. Don’t we love that term, “fake”? What we’ve learned about fake over the last little while — fake news, CNN. Fake. (Laughter and Applause.) Whoops, their camera just went off. (Laughter.) Okay, you can come back. I won’t say — I promise I won’t say anything more about you. I see that red light go off, I say, whoa. The truth is that we have near-limitless supplies of energy in our country. Powered by new innovation and technology, we are now on the cusp of a true energy revolution.
Our country is blessed with extraordinary energy abundance, which we didn’t know of, even five years ago and certainly ten years ago. We have nearly 100 years’ worth of natural gas and more than 250 years’ worth of clean, beautiful coal. We are a top producer of petroleum and the number-one producer of natural gas. We have so much more than we ever thought possible. We are really in the driving seat. And you know what? We don’t want to let other countries take away our sovereignty and tell us what to do and how to do it. That’s not going to happen. (Applause.) With these incredible resources, my administration will seek not only American energy independence that we’ve been looking for so long, but American energy dominance.
And we’re going to be an exporter — exporter. (Applause.) We will be dominant. We will export American energy all over the world, all around the globe. These energy exports will create countless jobs for our people, and provide true energy security to our friends, partners, and allies all across the globe.
But this full potential can only be realized when government promotes energy development — that’s this guy right here, and he’ll do it better than anybody — instead of obstructing it like the Democrats. They obstruct it. But we get through it. We cannot have obstruction. We have to get out and do our job better and faster than anybody in the world, certainly when it comes to one of our great assets — energy. This vast energy wealth does not belong to the government. It belongs to the people of the United States of America. (Applause.) Yet, for the past eight years, the federal government imposed massive job-killing barriers to American energy development.
Since my very first day in office, I have been moving at record pace to cancel these regulations and to eliminate the barriers to domestic energy production, like never before. Job-killing regulations are being removed and vital infrastructure projects are being approved at a level that they’ve never seen before. As you all know, I approved the Keystone XL Pipeline and the Dakota Access Pipeline in my first week. Thousands of jobs — tremendous things are happening. And, by the way, I thought I’d take a lot of heat. I didn’t take any heat. I approved them and that was it. I figured we’d have all sorts of protests. We didn’t have anything.
But I have to do — whether it’s protesting or not, I have to do what’s right. But people celebrate those two transactions, as opposed to protesting. But sometimes you have to go out and just do it, and you find out. Whatever happens, happens. But you have to be right for the American people. (Applause.) Thank you.
I’m dramatically reducing restrictions on the development of natural gas. I cancelled the moratorium on a new coal leasing — and you know what was happening — the new coal leasing on federal lands, it was being so terribly restricted. And now with Ryan and with a group, it’s going to be open, and the land will be left in better shape than it is right now. Is that right? Better shape. (Applause.)
We have finally ended the war on coal. And I am proud to report that Corsa Coal, here with us today, just opened a brand-new coal mine in the state of Pennsylvania, the first one in many, many, many years. Corsa, stand up. Come on. (Applause.) Congratulations. Congratulations. Employing a lot of people, and we are putting the coal miners back to work just like I promised — just like I promised when I went through Ohio and West Virginia, Wyoming and all of the different places. And I see Bob back there. Congratulations, Bob. He’s in great shape, right? You in good shape, Bob? Right from the beginning. Good. You just take care of yourself, all right?
We’re ending intrusive EPA regulations that kill jobs, hurt family farmers and ranchers, and raise the price of energy so quickly and so substantially.
In order to protect American jobs, companies and workers, we’ve withdrawn the United States from the one-sided Paris Climate Accord. (Applause.)
And I won’t get into it, but believe me, that really put this country at a disadvantage. Number one, we weren’t playing on the same field. It kicked in for us, and it doesn’t kick in for others. The money that we had to pay was enormous. It was not even close. And maybe we’ll be back into it someday, but it will be on better terms. It will be on fair terms — not on terms where we’re the people that don’t know what we’re doing.
So we’ll see what happens. But I will tell you we’re proud of it. And when I go around, there are so many people that say thank you. You saved the sovereignty of our country. You saved our wealth because we would have a hard time getting to this newfound wealth. And that’s not going to happen with our country. (Applause.)
Today, I am proudly announcing six brand-new initiatives to propel this new era of American energy dominance. First, we will begin to revive and expand our nuclear energy sector — which I’m so happy about — which produces clean, renewable and emissions-free energy. A complete review of U.S. nuclear energy policy will help us find new ways to revitalize this crucial energy resource. And I know you’re very excited about that, Rick.
Second, the Department of the Treasury will address barriers to the financing of highly efficient, overseas coal energy plants. Ukraine already tells us they need millions and millions of metric tons right now. There are many other places that need it, too. And we want to sell it to them, and to everyone else all over the globe who need it.
Third, my administration has just approved the construction of a new petroleum pipeline to Mexico, which will further boost American energy exports, and that will go right under the wall, right? It’s going under, right? (Laughter and applause.) Have it go down a little deeper in that one section. You know, a little like this. Right under the wall.
Fourth, just today, a major U.S. company, Sempra Energy, signed an agreement to begin negotiations for the sale of more American natural gas to South Korea. And, as you know, the leaders of South Korea are coming to the White House today, and we’ve got a lot of discussion to do. But we will also be talking about them buying energy from the United States of America, and I’m sure they’ll like to do it. They need it. Thank you. (Applause.)
Fifth, the United States Department of Energy is announcing today that it will approve two long-term applications to export additional natural gas from the Lake Charles LNG terminal in Louisiana. It’s going to be a big deal. It’s a great announcement.
Finally, in order to unlock more energy from the 94 percent of offshore land closed to development, under the previous administration, so much of our land was closed to development. We’re opening it up, the right areas, but we’re opening it up — we’re creating a new offshore oil and gas leasing program. America will be allowed to access the vast energy wealth located right off our shores. And this is all just the beginning — believe me.
The golden era of American energy is now underway. And I’ll go a step further: The golden era of America is now underway. Believe me. (Applause.)
And you’re all going to be a part of it in creating this exciting new future. We will bring new opportunity to the heartland, new prosperity to our inner cities, and new infrastructure all across our nation. When it comes to the future of America’s energy needs, we will find it, we will dream it, and we will build it.
American energy will power our ships, our planes and our cities. American hands will bend the steel and pour the concrete that brings this energy into our homes and that exports this incredible, newfound energy all around the world. And American grit will ensure that what we dream, and what we build, will truly be second to none. We will be number one again all the way. We’re going to make America great again.
Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America. Thank you. (Applause.)
3:49 P.M. EDT