US ‘energy superpower’
President Donald Trump visited Sempra Energy’s $10 billion Cameron LNG export facility in Hackberry on Tuesday, touting the United States as being an “energy superpower” under his administration, while also promising a new Interstate 10-Calcasieu River bridge, if re-elected.
“Now we have an America-first energy policy just like we have an America-first policy,” Trump said. “It’s music to people’s ears.”
This was the president’s third visit to Louisiana since his inauguration. He visited Lake Charles in September 2017 following Hurricane Harvey’s landfall.
Trump said the Cameron LNG facility will produce up to 15 million tons of liquefied natural gas per year.
“I’ve never seen anything like this in my life,” Trump said of the facility. “This is incredible.”
Trump said the Cameron LNG facility and other projects are removing America’s reliance on foreign energy sources.
“We don’t need anybody,” he said. “And we don’t need to be ripped off by the rest of the world either cause those days are over.”
Trump also spoke of rising wages and more employment options under his administration.
“I love what I do because I’m doing a service for millions of people,” he said. “Jobs are the same thing. You gotta love it, and if you don’t love it, get something else.”
New I-10 bridge
The largest applause during Trump’s speech came after he guaranteed a new I-10 bridge, if re-elected.
“I didn’t know it was going to be that popular,” he said after the crowd’s reaction.
Trump called the bridge “very unsafe” with a “lot of problems.”
“We’re going to start planning and developing right away and we’ll have it all set to go, day one, right after the election,” Trump said.
Trump struggled to pronounce the word Calcasieu while mentioning the bridge.
“You’ve been saying that word your whole lives,” he said. “Me, I just heard it about 20 minutes ago.”
Based on the percentage of voters who supported him during the 2016 race, Trump said he should love Louisiana.
Trump also called out the media covering his speech, calling them “fake news.”
“They’re going to be very famous tonight,” he said. “Some will go and sign movie contracts.”
Trump called House Minority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Jefferson, “perhaps braver than I am.” He mentioned a highlight play Scalise made during last year’s congressional baseball game. Scalise survived a shooting in 2017 during a practice for the annual game.
Under President Barack Obama’s administration, Trump said America was losing its wealth and jobs. Trump criticized the Green New Deal, along with the Democrats that backed it. The crowd booed the Green New Deal when he mentioned it.
“On my watch, we will never let radical activists, special interests (or) out of control bureaucrats wreck our economy, eliminate our jobs or destroy your future,” he said. “They don’t like clean, beautiful natural gas. They don’t know what they like.”
Trump also criticized several candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for president, including Beto O’Rourke, former Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.
“Beto’s falling fast; what the hell happened,” Trump asked. “He was made to fall like a rock.”
“Bernie’s crazy, but Bernie’s got a lot more energy than Biden,” Trump said. “But it’s energy to get rid of your jobs.”
Trump invited three Cameron LNG employees to speak of how being hired by the facility has helped them. Ronald Nunez said he spent 20 years working at a nearby plant before it was shut down.
“Thanks to Cameron LNG and the now growing natural gas industry, my family’s future was once again restored,” he said.
Before Trump’s speech, Jeffrey W. Martin, Sempra Energy chairman and CEO of Sempra, said train 1 has begun production of LNG. He said there were a peak of 11,000 workers at the facility. Now there are roughly 7,000 workers. The facility includes three liquefaction trains.
Martin said Trump’s visit was a “celebration of America’s energy renaissance.”
U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., rode on Air Force One and also toured the facility. He said in a statement that Trump’s goal of making America energy dominant “has been great for Louisiana workers.”