President Donald Trump formally opened the Cameron liquefied natural gas export plant at Hackberry in Louisiana and said the nation was heading for a great energy future with more security as he contrasted the hostile policies of Iran and Venezuela with that of America, which planned to provide power around the world from LNG.
“In Venezuela and Iran, we are now holding dangerous regimes accountable, denying them oil revenue to fund their corruption, oppression and terror,” said the President.
At the same time, he said LNG from the Cameron plant would soon be moving through the Gulf of Mexico and the Panama Canal to Asia to illuminate cities.
“The energy revolution you’re leading is an incredible story that could only be written right here,” he told the Cameron construction workforce and plant personnel numbering several thousand who had gathered to hear his speech lasting just over 55 minutes.
“As we embrace the potential of our God-given abundance, we are not only strengthening our national security but reducing our dependence on foreign sources of energy,” he said.
Trump added that with increased US oil and gas production and LNG the nation had dramatically increased its power to confront adversaries, support its friends and fight for its interests.
“For example, American allies all around the world, in Poland and Lithuania, are now using American natural gas to reduce their dependence on countries who use energy as a weapon of coercion,” he said.
The Cameron plant, owned by California-based utility Sempra Energy, completed all major construction activities for Train 1 and has just started production of LNG, the final step before cargoes are exported.
The first phase of the Cameron project includes building the first three liquefaction Trains that will enable the export of around 12 million tonnes per annum of LNG, or about 1.7 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas.
Here are the other main extracts from President Trump’s speech, referring to France, the climate-change debate, radical Democrats in Congress and US energy economics.
In his speech, Trump devoted some time mocking opposition radical Democrats in the US Congress who want the nation to rely on windpower.
“Over 100 Democrat members of Congress have sponsored that ‘Green New Deal’, that radical plan to put you out of work,” Trump told the Cameron workers.
“They want to stop oil, to stop coal. They want to stop nuclear. On my watch we will never allow radical activists, special interests or out-of-control bureaucrats to wreck our economy, eliminate our jobs or destroy your future,” stated the President.
“Under the ‘Green New Deal’, they don’t like clean natural gas. They don’t like anything. They don’t know what they like. They certainly like wind, even though it kills all the birds,” he said.
“Do you want to see a bird cemetery? Go under a (power) windmill and you’ll see the saddest sight,” added Trump.
“You know, in California you go to jail for five years if you kill a Bald Eagle. You go under a windmill and you see them all over the place. It’s not a good situation,” he added.
“That’s what (the Green New Deal) is counting on, wind,” he added. “When the wind doesn’t blow you don’t watch television that night,” he said.
“We know that American energy workers like the ones here at Cameron LNG are the foundation of American strength. That’s what you are,” said the President.
“By unleashing American oil, natural gas and clean coal you are helping to fuel America’s historic economic boom,” he added.
“We have the greatest economy in the history of our country. Last month we created another 263,000 jobs,’ he said.
“Since the election we have created 6 million jobs, including 57,000 new oil and gas pipeline construction jobs,” declared Trump.
“In 2018 alone, America added 150,000 new energy jobs,” he said.
“The previous Administration tried to put America’s vast energy resources under lock and key. ‘We don’t want energy,’ they said. I don’t know what they were thinking. And they tried to put energy producers out of business,” said Trump.
The President was then widely cheered when he declared: “I withdrew the United States from the terrible, very expensive, one-sided Paris Climate Accord.
“You just take a look at Paris. The (French) President’s a friend of mine. Sometimes I’ll call him up. How are you doing over there? Not so good? The yellow vests! You know that was all to do with the Accord. Because they were charging people tremendous amounts of money (for diesel and gasoline) and sending it all over the world to countries that they’d never heard of. People get tired of it,” said Trump.
“I saved $1 trillion through not going with the Paris Accord,” stated the President. “I thought I would take a lot of heat for doing that. But instead we’ve been praised,” he added.
“The Paris Accord was an agreement that would have shut down clean energy production in America while allowing top foreign polluters to do whatever the hell they want,” he said.
“It was a restriction on America. It was almost made to hold us back,” he said.
“No longer will we allow other countries to tie America’s hands and take America’s jobs and hurt American energy,” he stated.
“This quarter, America produced record amounts of oil and natural gas. Since the election private companies have invested half a trillion dollars in the US energy industry,” added Trump.
“And it looks as if it’s going substantially up from there, including in this great state where there are many tremendous projects,” he said.
“The US has now been a net exporter of natural gas for two straight years and energy imports are at their lowest level for 60 years,” he added.
“In 2018, American energy exports alone brought down our trade deficit by $215 billion,” he added.
“We are pursuing a vision not just of energy independence but of American energy dominance,” stated the President.
“By next year America’s LNG capacity will more than double. What does it really mean? It means jobs, jobs, jobs. That’s what it means,” he said.
“In the past, politicians and pundits had said America was running out of oil and natural gas. They were saying it 10 years ago, five years ago. I was hearing it all the time. They said the United States would never again be an energy power house,” he said.
“They said Americans would have to learn to get by with much, much, much less,” added the President. "But you proved them wrong,” he said. “You silenced the critics and shattered the predictions.
“You are powering our cities, uplifting our nation and you are lighting up the world. You are building a better future for our families and our children and for every patriot, and you are true patriots,” said Trump.
“You’re making America safer, prouder and stronger than ever before. I just want to say it’s been a great honor to be with you today. It’s been a special day. This is your first day of many, many days of producing something that is very special,” he said.
“It’s a tremendous achievement. I want to congratulate everybody involved in the project. And most importantly I want to congratulate the state of Louisiana and all the work we’ve done together with the federal government and I want to congratulate the workers. It doesn’t work without the workers,” concluded the President.