HACKBERRY, La. (WVUE) - Air Force One delivered President Donald Trump to southwest Louisiana Tuesday afternoon (May 14), where the president toured Sempra Energy’s Liquified Natural Gas Export facility in the town of Hackberry and praised the state’s oil and gas industry.
"From right here in Hackberry, Louisiana you will very soon 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,” Trump said.
With dozens of workers positioned at his back, the president robustly touted activity in Louisiana’s oil and gas industry, crediting it with helping America become energy independent.
"Workers like you are lighting up our homes, powering our factories and reducing energy costs for hard-working American families,” Trump said. “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, and, we don’t need to be ripped off by the rest of the world either because those days are over.”
FOX 8 political analyst Mike Sherman said a president cannot go wrong in praising the state’s oil and gas industry.
"Oil and gas are at the heart of Louisiana’s economy. It’s been hurt bad over the past few years, President Trump making a visit to oil and gas territory in Louisiana, but this time it’s the emerging trend of LNG terminals,” Sherman said.
Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards is seeking reelection in a deep-red state and is running a TV commercial in southwest Louisiana that applauds Trump’s visit to the state’s energy sector. In the ad, Edwards said the presidential visit is proof Louisiana’s economy is thriving.
"Today the eyes of the nation turn to southwest Louisiana as President Trump recognizes our energy industry. This industry is experiencing record growth, with $30 billion of new investment and businesses from South Africa to South Korea setting up shop in Southwest Louisiana, creating good-paying jobs in our state. It’s confirmation that we are moving in the right direction and proof that when we continue putting people over politics, there’s no challenge we won’t meet together,” Edwards said in the ad.
Sherman said Edwards is wise to not criticize the republican president.
“It certainly wouldn’t be good politics for John Bel Edwards to slam President Trump in a deep-red state like Louisiana, especially when he’s up for reelection this year,” Sherman said. "There’s only two positions for someone running for office to take in Louisiana on oil and gas, and it’s that they like the industry a lot, or a heck of a lot. So right now President Trump’s drawing attention to oil and gas. Governor John Bel Edwards, on his coattails’ also going to support that major industry for Louisiana unemployment.”
Trump’s visit came as his administration’s trade war with China intensifies.
“There’s great irony in the timing of President Trump’s visit,” Sherman said. “As he’s celebrating LNG, China is about to slap 25 percent tariffs on U.S. exports, which could seriously undermine the progress of this major U.S. export.”
The president also criticized the Green New Deal proposed by some congressional Democrats, labeling it a job-killer.
“Under that deal, everybody in this room gets fired,” Trump said.
Trump carried Louisiana during the last presidential election and he let his gratitude be known before leaving the podium in the southwestern part of the state.
"Louisiana, a state I love very much, and based on the votes I should love it very much, and I do love it,” Trump said to wild applause.