Trump: ‘No more cows, no more airplanes’

Source: By Kelsey Brugger, E&E News reporter • Posted: Tuesday, September 17, 2019

President Trump focused on energy issues during a campaign speech in New Mexico Monday night, claiming his energy policies have boosted the state’s economy and that a Democratic president would force Americans to drive electric cars.

His remarks came two days after oil operations in Saudi Arabia were attacked by what Trump and top U.S. officials attributed to Iran. The attack slashed Saudi’s oil production and, at least initially, spiked international oil prices.

“You know a few years ago if we had a problem like you saw two days ago in the Middle East, we would have been in a panic,” Trump said, referring to the attacks. “But not if I were your president. We never panic. We don’t want to panic. Today we have a lot of oil. We have a lot of gas. We are independent — as independent as we want. We are now a net exporter of energy.”

But, he asserted, under the Green New Deal climate plan from Democrats, “It all goes away — you can forget it: no more cows, no more airplanes. No more trips. A single car — make it electric.”

“They’ll call us the hermit nation — we’ll never leave our house,” Trump said.

Supporters of the Green New Deal have slammed Trump’s comments denying climate science and say their ideas would curb emissions.

Trump made an appeal to voters in a state that sits atop the Permian Basin, which has boomed since the advent of hydraulic fracturing a decade ago. Trump lost New Mexico by 8 percentage points in 2016. The state has not backed a Republican for president since 2004.

The prospect of carrying New Mexico, a state with five electoral votes, remains a challenge for Trump. Last year, the state elected a Democratic governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham, and a Democratic land commissioner, Stephanie Garcia Richard, who oversees state oil and gas regulation.

New Mexico is in the midst of an oil production boom that has boosted employment and spurred a state government spending spree from Lujan Grisham on public education, roadway projects and tax rebates for film productions.

Lujan Grisham took aim at Trump ahead of his visit, saying Trump’s policies had resulted in increased taxes for some New Mexicans.

Last night, Trump also mentioned traditional incandescent lightbulbs, an issue he has commented on several times since the Energy Department rescinded Obama-era efficiency standards for lightbulbs on Sept. 4 (Energywire, Sept. 11).

“I wanted an incandescent bulb,” he said. “You pay less money to look better.” Though incandescent bulbs are cheaper than LEDs they burn out 10 to 25 times faster, according to efficiency advocates.

Trump’s rally in Rio Rancho, in suburban Albuquerque, was the first stop on a three-day swing that will also take him to California for fundraisers expected to raise more than $15 million.

The Associated Press contributed.