Remarks on American Energy and Manufacturing at the Shell Pennsylvania Chemicals Plant in Monaca, Pennsylvania
Audience members. U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!
The President. Well, thank you very much. And thank you, Gretchen. It's great to be back in the incredible Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Great place. And this is my 13th visit to Pennsylvania during my administration, which is more than any other President to this point in the term.
And I really love Pennsylvania. I went to school in Pennsylvania—Philadelphia. So, we love this State. And I love the unions, and I love the workers. And, you know, when I built buildings in New York, I built them exclusively with unions. People don't understand that. I was exclusive.
And, in the last really great election, our election of 2016, you know, we did great with the union workers. Great. But we didn't do good with the leadership. The leadership said, "Well, we've always gone Democrat. Let's keep going that way." That didn't work out too well for some of them, I want to tell you.
Audience member. That's right!
The President. I'll tell you. And as Gretchen said, this would have never happened without me and us. This would have never happened. So I'm with you. I'm with you. Remember that.
And remember that Pennsylvania—you know, Pennsylvania has the best numbers they've ever had in the history of the State. And that's for a very good reason. And you know what that reason is.
[At this point, an audience member waved.]
Hello. Here I am.
And I'm truly honored to be here with the amazing energy workers and construction workers. These are talented people. The craft workers who make America run and who make America proud. We're proud again. We're proud again.
And no one in the world does it better than you. Nobody. Nobody does it better. There's nobody in the world that does it. And we're unleashing that power again like we've never seen before, I will say.
And we are doing well, and we're fighting against a lot of countries that have taken advantage of us for many, many years. But they're not doing it so much anymore. And in a little period of time, they won't be doing it at all anymore. They have taken advantage of this country.
Today we celebrate the revolution in American energy that's helping make our economy the envy of the world. This Shell petrochemical plant in Beaver County, Pennsylvania—I did very well here. We did very well. How many points did we win by? Does anybody know? I'll tell you. Isn't it, I think, 28 points? That's a lot. That's against a Democrat—[laughter]—or whatever.
It's one of the single biggest construction projects in the Nation. And it made it possible and was possible by clean, affordable, all-American natural gas. Powerful, clean, natural gas.
And when the wind stops blowing, it doesn't make any difference, does it? Unlike those big windmills that destroy everybody's property values, kill all the birds. Someday, the environmentalists are going to tell us what's going on with that. And then, all of a sudden, it stops, the wind, and the televisions go off. And your wives and husbands say, "Darling, I want to watch Donald Trump on television tonight." [Laughter] "But the wind stopped blowing, and I can't watch. There's no electricity in the house, darling." No, we love natural gas, and we love a lot of other things too.
Each of you is taking part in the largest investment in Pennsylvania history. It's the largest investment in the history of Pennsylvania, in the history of our country—the money that's being invested in your State right now.
With your help, we're not only unleashing American energy, we're restoring the glory of American manufacturing, and we are reclaiming our noble heritage as a nation of builders again, a nation of builders.
I was a good builder. I built good. I love building. In fact, I'm going to take a tour of the site. They said, "Sir, we were going to do it before the speech, but we're waiting for it to stop raining." I said: "Don't worry about the rain. Do we have umbrellas? Don't worry about the rain. Umbrellas work very well, especially when they're made in America." [Laughter] So I don't care. But we're going to take a tour afterwards.
I'm going to speak to some of your union leaders to say, "I hope you're going to support Trump." Okay?
Audience members. Yeah!
The President. And if they don't, vote them the hell out of office because they're not doing their job. It's true. It's true. Vote them out of office.
When completed, this facility will transform abundant natural gas—and we have a lot of it—fracked from Pennsylvania wells, which they never would have allowed you to take if I weren't President. If my opponent won, this would be a lot of nice, new structures outside. I guess you would have stopped long ago. You would have stopped construction before it started too much.
But I was talking to Gretchen. They would have never gotten the approvals to do what's needed to fuel these plants. That wouldn't have been good. So, probably, they wouldn't have started. But if they would have started, it would have been stopped.
But they put it into plastic through a process known as "cracking." That raw material will then be shipped all over the country and all over the world to be fashioned into more products stamped with that very beautiful phrase: Made in the U.S.A. Right? Made in the U.S.A. Beautiful.
Audience members. U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!
The President. That is a beautiful phrase.
Getting this massive job done right has required more than 1,500 pieces of heavy equipment; one of the largest cranes anywhere in the world—I look forward to seeing it. I love cranes. I love trucks of all types. Even when I was a little boy at 4 years old, my mother would say, "You love trucks." I do. I always loved trucks. I still do. Nothing changes. Sometimes, you know, you might become President, but nothing changes. I still love trucks, especially when I look at the largest crane in the world. That's very cool. Do you think I'll get to operate it? I don't know. We'll put the media on it, and I'll give them a little ride, right?
And you have thousands of tons of concrete, aluminum, and steel, and nearly 6,000 of the strongest, toughest, and most talented workers anywhere on Earth. True. I know. It was the Trump administration that made it possible. No one else. Without us, you would never have been able to do this. I want to thank all of our great union members: the boilermakers, carpenters, cement finishers, electricians, iron workers, laborers, millwrights, operators, plumbers, painters, steamfitters—I know them well.
And a group that I've used more than anybody that's ever run for office times a thousand, because in New York City they would drive those cement trucks up to my building and those trucks were always on time, and sometimes, they were lined up for six blocks when I was doing different things. Even when I was doing the Wollman Rink, the city couldn't build it. Took them 9 years. They had no idea what they were doing.
And I had that whole big—about 70,000 feet—it's like a massive office floor, bigger than an office floor. We did it all in 1 day, and the trunks were lined up from Central Park all the way back into Harlem. And they did it all in 1 day, that pour. It was called a contiguous pour. The city used to build little pieces: a little piece here, a little piece there, a little piece here, a little there. [Laughter] A few years later: a little piece here.
Then they had pipes underneath, and the pipes were made out of copper. And during the evening, things would happen, like the copper would be stolen because it was very valuable. [Laughter] So they'd have a little piece with copper, and then the rest of the pipe they'd lay. And they'd get ready to pour, and they'd leave, and everybody would steal the copper. So they—this took place for—I guess, from 7 to 9 years. Nobody actually knows. Nobody wants to talk about it. [Laughter] But those trucks were operated incredibly well, and I never missed a delivery. And it's called the Teamsters.
I also want to thank Bechtel, a real incredible company. We talk about the great builders of the world: President Jack Futcher. Where is he? Where is he? Jack. Where is Jack? Jack. What a great job you've done, Jack. Some big ones. Think of it this way, Jack. If we don't win, you won't be doing anything in this country. [Laughter] And, you know, the world follows us. You see that. The world follows us. And it won't be so good. But you and I are friends, and you're going to have a lot of work to do, I think, Jack. A lot of work. Thank you, Jack. Great job. Jack has done an incredible job. That's an incredible company. Incredible—they're incredible builders.
And the secretary-treasurer of North America's Building Trades Unions, Brent Booker. Where's Brent? Brent. Thank you. Great job. Young guy. You're so young, Brent. How the hell did you get that job? [Laughter] Man.
We're honored to be joined by two leaders who truly have the backs of American workers. They've become friends of mine. They do such an incredible job. They break up the roadblocks. We have a lot of roadblocks in this country, where you have—a little clause can stop a project. A little clause can stop it for years. And we break up those little clauses. We break them up fast. Energy Secretary Rick Perry. Where's Rick? Rick? Thank you, Rick. What a great guy.
I had to compete with him. You know, he wanted to be President. He was tough. He was nasty. Man. [Laughter] He was nasty. But then he said, "I want to do something great." And you have been incredible. He ran Texas for, like, 14 years, and he did it well. And now he's running a little thing called Energy. And nobody has ever done it better. Thank you, Rick, very much. Great job.
And a man who has been incredible in every way. You know, EPA—Environmental Protection Agency. You've heard a lot of horror stories where nothing can get done, nothing gets passed. It takes years and years and years to get a simple permit. It can take 20, 21 years to get a road, before they reject it. How about this? They go 20 years—21 years, in certain cases—for a highway or a road. Not even a highway. At the end of the 21st year, they vote to reject it. How would you like to be—you're a young person, you're starting out, and you're all excited about this project. And it starts off as being a simple, straight road, and then it ends up being a total catastrophe because of nesting and lots of other things that we can take care of. And it's 20 years later, and then they reject it. You've devote half of your working life to a rejection. It happened to many people.
And we have a man that knows how to break it up, but he's also a great lover of the environment: EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. He's done an incredible job. Andrew? Great job, Andrew. Great. Really great job.
And I also want to recognize some of my great friends that have helped me so much: Congressman John Joyce. John? John. Where is John? John. John, usually you're in the front row. I can't believe this. I guess you got shut out by the unions. Look. [Laughter] Thank you, John. Fantastic job. John Joyce. Been a great friend, a great friend of all of us.
Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Michael Turzai. Michael Turzai. Thank you. Michael, great job. Thank you. Good to see you, Michael. Michael Turzai. Great name in this state, I'll tell you, for a long time. How long has it been, Michael? You've been there a long time. How long?
Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Michael C. Turzai. [Inaudible]
The President. Okay. Good luck. [Laughter] It's not that long. Thank you, Mike.
And one of my good friends from Beaver County, David Urban. David. David. Where's David? David? Thank you, David. Great football player. Great athlete. And he was a Trump supporter. He liked Trump. And when he liked Trump, nobody was going to get in his way. Right, David?
Audience member. We love Trump!
The President. [Laughter] Thank you. Thank you.
How are we doing in the State, David? We looking good?
Audience member. Four more years!
The President. Thank you. I appreciate it. Thank you.
I think we're looking very good. I think we're looking good all over: in Ohio, in North Carolina, in South Carolina, Florida. We just got numbers in Florida. We're looking fantastically good.
Now, you know, sometimes—and they do. They do. They say, "Donald Trump"—can you imagine if I got a fair press? I mean, we're leading without it. Can you imagine if these people treated me fairly? The election would be over. Have they ever called off an election before? Just said: "Look, just—let's go. Go on. Four more years."
Yeah. And then, you want to really drive them crazy? Go to "#thirdterm"; "#fourthterm." You'll drive them totally crazy. [Laughter] I mean, you have one guy on television: "I'm telling you, he's not leaving. He's going to win, and then he's not leaving. So in 2024, he won't leave. I'm telling you." This is a serious person. These people have gone stone-cold crazy. [Laughter]
And we're grateful especially to the chairman of Royal Dutch Shell. That's big stuff, folks. You know, I'm a business guy. When I hear "Royal Dutch Shell"—you know, until I became President, that was like a big deal, but now I don't view it the same. [Laughter] Once you're President, nothing seems big. Right? Chad Holliday. Where's Chad? Chad understands it. That's a big deal, Chad. But thank you for coming. That's a big deal. You don't get any bigger. That's an incredible company. Shell's U.S. President—you just met her, and you know her; everybody knows her, and she's got a lot of other things in store. And she's thanked me for what we've done here. But I said: "Forget this. We got a lot of jobs. Let's do a couple of more fast. Do them fast. We'll get you fast approvals." And you may get rejected, you know, if it's not going to be environmentally good, environmentally sound; if something is going to be wrong. But we're not going to take 20 years to reject you, like they did with the pipelines. It didn't matter; I approved them. But that's okay.
Audience members. Yeah!
The President. So we have pipelines—[applause]—oh, we got plenty of pipeline folks here, don't we? Huh? [Applause] I'll tell you. Hey, you know, that's a bigger hand than we got from the Teamsters. You believe that? No, but, you know, they did that with the pipelines, right? Keystone XL. They did it with the pipelines. Dakota Access Pipeline. We're building pipelines. And if we get the pipelines approved, then you better work. The EPA is working right now to get them approved in Texas. And if we can do—we can increase our—we can increase. We're now the largest in the world in energy, by far. But if we get those approved, Andrew—I hope Andrew is listening—EPA. Andrew, you know what I'm saying, right? If we get them approved in Texas fast—they said it will take 18 years. I said, "Could you do it in about a month?" Right?
If we get, though—oh, look at those pipeline guys. They're so happy. That's a lot of jobs. But, Andrew, if we get them approved fast, we can increase our entire output. Texas is so big. And it's bigger—it turned out to be much bigger.
I also got you ANWR, in Alaska, which may be bigger than everything. And they couldn't get it. Ronald Reagan couldn't get it. No President could get it. And I got it approved, and we're all set. And so—[applause]—so we're all set.
Audience members. Yeah!
The President. So, Andrew, in Texas, if you can get those pipelines going, you will be so happy. We'll have dinner with your family. I'll tell them how great you were. [Laughter] Okay? EPA. Thank you, Andrew.
So I want to thank, though, Gretchen. She's been fantastic. I also want to thank Vice President of Pennsylvania Chemicals Hilary Mercer. I want to thank you very much for investing in the people of Pennsylvania. Hilary? Where's Hilary? Thank you, Hilary. You're investing in the people of Pennsylvania, so that's a guarantee, as far as I'm concerned.
For generations, American greatness was forged and fueled and won by the extraordinary workers of this region. This region is an incredible region.
Pennsylvania steel raised the skyscrapers that built our cities. And by the way, steel—steel was dead. Your business was dead. Okay? I don't want to be overly crude. Your business was dead. And I put a little thing called a 25-percent tariff on all of the dumped steel all over the country. And now your business is thriving. Probably there's few businesses that have gone proportionately up like steel and aluminum.
We did it with aluminum too. But they are doing well: 25 percent and 10 percent on aluminum. And they still dump, but now the United States takes in billions of dollars, and the dumping is much less, and the steel companies are thriving again.
We have to have a steel industry. We can't—I mean, we need steel for defense. We need steel. What are we going to do? We have a little bit of a problem. We have a little bit of a conflict. We'll say: "Listen, China, could you do us a favor? We need help. All our steel mills are closed. Oh, damn it. Could you send us some steel, please? We don't make steel anymore." Well, we make it now. And I'll tell you what: Those steel mills—U.S. Steel and all of them, all of them—they're expanding all over the place. New mills. New expansions. We hadn't have—we didn't have a new mill built in 30 years, and now we have many of them going up.
Many car plants—they're coming in from Japan. I told Prime Minister Abe—great guy. I said, "Listen, we have a massive deficit with Japan." They send thousands and thousands—millions—of cars. We send them wheat. Wheat. [Laughter] That's not a good deal. And they don't even want our wheat. They do it because they want us to at least feel that we're okay. You know, they do it to make us feel good.
But the deficit is massive, which—changing rapidly. But what they're doing is they're buying a lot of our stuff, including our military equipment. They're building car plants now in the United States—in Michigan, in Pennsylvania. Many, many of the Japanese car companies are coming over and building car plants in the United States. It doesn't fully do the trick, but it helps. And those deficits will start coming down very substantially.
But we're losing 78 billion. For many years, we're losing billions and billions with these countries. And frankly, the countries that we do the worst with are the allies—our allies. Does that make sense to you? Our allies take advantage of us far greater than our enemies. And someday, I'm going to explain that to a lot of people.
Pennsylvania miners. Do we love our miners? They lit up our towns and powered our industries. And Pennsylvania factory workers made the American brand into the universal symbol of excellence all around the world—all over.
But, in recent decades, the loyalty of Pennsylvania workers was repaid only with betrayal. They betrayed you. They let your companies move to Mexico, to Canada, to China, to many other places. We ended up with no income and massive unemployment. Well, right now our employment has reached the lowest level that it's seen since the 1960s, and we'll soon be breaking that record, I predict.
And you've heard me say it, but now it's even better. Numbers just came out. African American unemployment—lowest in history. Asian American, Hispanic American—lowest in the history of our country. Women—lowest in 70 years. Sorry, women. I let you down again. Think of it: Lowest in 70 years, and I have to apologize to women. But soon we're going to have that—that will be a record very soon. We're very close to saying "lowest in history" for women—unemployment.
Today, we have more workers working in the United States than—almost 160 million—than at any time in the history of our country. Think of that. That's a hell of a stat.
The political class in Washington gutted your factories with horrendous trade deals—horrible. NAFTA—one of the worst trade deals ever. By the way, World Trade Organization, it made China. China made themselves. They did a good job. But they ripped off our country for years, and with our money and World Trade Organization backing. And then they took advantage of the rules of the World Trade Organization. And I'm being nice when I say "took advantage." Much more than "took advantage." They went up like a rocket ship. They were flatlined for a hundred years. And then, one day, World Trade Organization—a terrible move.
And, you know, we were losing all our cases until I came along. We were losing all our cases in the World Trade Organization. Almost every case, were—lost, lost, lost. They thought we were stupid. They were the ones ruling.
And then, I came along. Now we're winning a lot of cases because they know that they're not on very solid ground. We will leave, if we have to. And all of the sudden, we're winning a lot of cases. We're winning most of our cases. And it's only because of attitude, because we know that they have been screwing us for years. And it's not going to happen any longer. They get it. They get it. So they're giving us victories. They're giving us victories.
And I'd like to use a different word, but there's no word that's quite as——
Audience member. [Inaudible]
The President. Right? There's no word that's quite as descriptive. I'd like to. But that's exactly what they were doing. They were taking advantage of us for years and years. And now they understand that if it's not going to be fair, it's not going to be at all. We don't need it. We don't need it.
So a lot of good things. And I think we will—I think they will treat us fairly. I mean, the concept should work. But people have taken advantage. Like, for instance, they view certain countries—like China, India, many countries—for a long time, they viewed them as "they're growing." Right? They're "growing nations." We're a "mature nation." They're growing. These are "growing nations."
Well, they've grown. And they had tremendous advantages. But we're not letting that happen anymore, okay? We're not letting that happen anymore. Everybody is growing but us. You know, they're all "growing nations." We have to work with them, but nobody ever wants to work with the United States. It's a disgrace. But it's changing, and it's changing fast.
And I think it's the primary reason, probably, that I ran for President. I'd see these factories all over the country, and I'd see them empty, and I'd see the jobs going to other countries. And I just never understood why the politicians didn't do anything about it. But now we're doing it.
And, by the way, the USMCA—that's Mexico and Canada—that deal is a fantastic deal. And it's a great deal for your unions too. We have the farmers, the unions, the manufacturers. It's good for everybody. We have to get the Democrats to put it up for a vote. And most Democrats are going to vote for it too. They're under a lot of pressure to vote for it.
But that replaces one of the worst trade deals ever made, which is NAFTA.
But I watched them crush your industries with taxes and regulations, and they targeted American energy for total destruction. You weren't going to be able to take anything out. That's our gold. That's gold underneath our feet. And they weren't going to allow it to happen. The Paris accord: The Paris Accord was good for other countries. It wasn't good for us.
All the while, they expected you to stay on the sidelines, silence your voices, and surrender the future of our Nation. And you didn't do it, but you didn't have the right people representing you, so it didn't matter. But when you finally had the right person—the person that really cared—because let me—this thing is costing me a fortune, being President. Somebody said, "Oh, he might have rented a room for—to a man from Saudi Arabia for $500." What about the $5 billion that I'll lose? You know, it's probably going to cost me—including upside, downside, lawyers—because every day, they sue me for something. [Laughter] These are the most litigious people. It's probably costing me from 3 to 5 billion for the privilege of being—and I couldn't care less. I don't care. You know, if you're wealthy, it doesn't matter. I just want to do a great job. That's why—I don't care. I want to do the right job.
When this great building company comes here and wants to build a plant, I want to make it easy for them, not hard for them. I'm not jealous of them. I couldn't care less. Bechtel. I'm not jealous of them.
I got sued on a thing called "emoluments." Emoluments. You ever hear the word? Nobody ever heard of it before. They went back. Now, nobody looks at Obama getting $60 million for a book. That's okay. Even though nobody in history ever got that money for a book. Obama got $60 million. Think of it: $60 million for a book. Nobody looks—nobody looks at any—but with me, it's everything.
Emoluments. Nobody knows what it is. Here's the good news: Last month, I just won two cases on emoluments. And the judge was scolding of the other side. And what it is, is Presidential harassment because this thing is costing me a fortune, and I love it, okay? I love it because I'm making the lives of other people much, much better.
And each of you here today is living proof that America never surrenders. We don't surrender. And we were in bad shape. This area was in really bad shape. And now you look outside, and you say, "That's like the eighth wonder of the world."
Under my administration, we're fighting back and we're winning because we are truly and finally putting America first. After years of building up foreign countries, we are finally building up our country. Think of it, we protect the border of South Korea, but we don't protect our own border. But now we are.
And the wall is being built. We won that case 2 weeks ago. We won that case. The wall is being—and we're going to have a lot of it. We're going to have anywhere from 400 to 500 miles built by the end of next year. We're building a lot of wall, and we need it. We need it. We want people to come into our country. They have to come in legally and we want them to come in through merit.
The last administration tried to shut down Pennsylvania coal and Pennsylvania fracking. If they got in, your fracking is gone, your coal is gone, you guys—I don't know what the hell you're going to do. You don't want to make widgets, right? [Laughter] You don't want to make—do you want to learn how to make a computer? A little tiny piece of stuff you put in with those big, beautiful hands of yours. [Laughter] They're going to take these big hands—he's going to take this little tiny part. [Laughter] He's going to go home, "Alice, this is a tough job." [Laughter] No, you want to make steel and you want to dig coal, and that's what you want to do.
I was in West Virginia when Hillary made that terrible statement that she wants to close up all of the coal.
Audience members. Boo!
The President. She forgot: In 3 weeks, she was going to West Virginia. Remember, she wanted to close up all coal. She was in an area where they didn't do the coal. And she said: "Well, I look forward to closing up all coal. It's going to be closed. Steel—going to be in big trouble." She forgot: In 3 weeks, she was going to West Virginia. That didn't work out too well. [Laughter] I won that one by 42 points. Forty-two points. West Virginia.
And I actually think, this time, we have a good chance of winning Virginia, which is a tough one to win because, you know, you have some people there that maybe don't agree with us. But I think we have a really good chance of Virginia too, which is something that hasn't been won by a Republican in a long time. But it's common sense. Some—a lot of this is—you know, they say, politics—politics—great politics is common sense.
But on my first day in office, I ended the war on American energy. And that's common sense, I think. You know, that's common sense.
We're lucky. You go to places like China, they don't have oil and gas. They don't have it under their—they have to go buy it, and then they devalue their currency and manipulate their currency. And that costs them a fortune to go out and buy it. They hurt themselves in the long run. But they're devaluing all over the place, as others are. But we have this unbelievable—the greatest in the world. We have the greatest resources, which really came about over the last few years. Nobody knew this. Fracking made it possible. Other new technologies made it possible. And now we're the number-one—think of it, as I said—the number-one energy producer in the world.
I'm so proud of that because we wouldn't have been number five. They were going to close it up. They were going to close it up. And it's common sense. They wanted to take away our wealth.
That's what the Paris accord would have done. It would have taken away our wealth. It wasn't for us; it was good for others. It wasn't for us. We had to pay money to other countries that are very substantial countries. They wanted to take away your wealth. They didn't want you to drill. They didn't want you to frack. They didn't want you to do steel. They wanted to take away your wealth.
Now, the press will try and spin that differently, but I'm right, okay? The fake news. That's a lot of people back there for a—for, like, 11 o'clock speeches. That's a lot of people. [Laughter] That's a lot like the Academy Awards during the day. [Laughter]
It used to be. You know, the Academy Awards is on hard times now. You know that. Nobody wants to watch it. You know why? Because they started taking us on. Everyone got tired of it. It's amazing. That used to be second after the Super Bowl, and then, all of a sudden, now it's just another show because people got tired of people getting up and making fools of themselves and disrespecting the people in this room and the people that won the election in 2016 and the people that won the Senate, without me on the ticket, in 2018.
You know, they never say that. We won the Senate. That's why we'll have appointed, within 2 months, 179 Federal judges and two Supreme Court judges. Think of that: 179. But they don't say we won the Senate; they say we lost the House. And, you know, there were a lot of people running for the House; it's hard for me to campaign. But almost everybody I campaigned for won. We had tremendous records in '18 and I wasn't running. There's a big difference. In 2020, we're running, so you better get out there and make sure we win.
And we have a record that nobody's ever had. Remember, when I was running, I was saying: "We're going to do this. We're going to create jobs." Everyone—you know, big yawn. And you know, we like—"Let's give him a shot. What do we have to lose, right?"
I said that with African Americans. They had the worst crime rates, the worst education, the worst everything. They had, like, 10 things—I'm reading it off a list. I looked—I said, "What the hell do you have to lose?"
But I really sort of said the same thing to everybody, because our country wasn't doing well with Biden and Obama. Wasn't doing well. And they were pouring money in—pouring, pouring money in. And it wasn't doing well.
Even now, you know, you see the interest rates. I'm paying a normalized interest rate. We should be paying less, frankly. This guy has made a big mistake. He's made a big mistake—the head of the Fed. That was another beauty that I chose. But even with that, we're paying a normalized interest rate.
The nice thing is you get some interest from the bank. With President Obama, he was paying nothing. It's easy to make money when you you're paying nothing; you're paying zero. Easy. But even with that, our economy is roaring and his wasn't. It was the weakest economy since the Great Depression. The weakest up.
So we have it going. Our country now has the hottest economy anywhere in the world. Every time a Prime Minister, President, King, Queen, dictator, whatever they may be—some are sort of mutual. Some you have Presidents and Prime Ministers who are actually dictators. But they come in and they see me at the Oval Office, they always say—almost everybody—"Congratulations on your incredible economy. What you've done is incredible: the tax cuts, the regulation cuts, all of the things we've done."
And they were all saying—and they want to try and copy us. It's not easy to copy us. And part of the reason it's not easy is because of the people like this, all over the country—the people in this room. You are incredible people. That was an incredible win. Thank you. Incredible. Incredible people. Incredible people.
And here in the Appalachian region, where the Marcellus and Utica shale formations generate one-third of American natural gas—think of that. You've been sitting on this for a long time, and yet, look at the numbers. Look at the way you lived. Because you never had anybody that wanted to take advantage of it, but now we're taking advantage of it. You're sitting on gold, and we're taking advantage of it. And your future has never looked brighter or better. It's so great that you stayed, because you suffered. This whole region—Appalachia. The whole—it just suffered, this whole region, with great people, the greatest people. And you suffered.
When this plant opens, 600 American workers will get the fulltime jobs, with quality health care, pensions and great pay to support a family. And you have—I said before—almost 2,000 construction workers. And you're going to another plant because we're going to talk to Bechtel after this, and we're talking to Shell. I mean, you got the boss from Shell. You people don't realize, that's a big deal. I don't know where the hell he comes from. Where are you based? It's not in this country. Hey, how about moving Shell to the United States? Well, we're ready if you are. Just let me know. But they have their big U.S.A. division. But that's a great company. It's a big deal. And that you're here is a big deal. That's a big deal to me, and it's a big deal to everybody in this room. You have the top man—top man at Shell.
But this is just the beginning. My administration is clearing the way for other massive, multibillion-dollar investments. We just did one in Louisiana. It's a $10 billion plant. There's more pipes in that plant than I've ever seen in my life. There's more plant—you know that. LNG. It's an LNG plant. Ten billion dollars. And we're now—it's totally sold out. They sell it like you rent office space. Can you believe it? It's all sold out.
All over the world, people have used it. And you haven't had a plant like that built in this country, really, ever, because there's never been anything that big. But you didn't build plants like that because, environmentally, they weren't letting you. And yet, environmentally, it's so good what they've done and what they can build today.
Investments that could bring more than 100,000 new jobs to this region are now being looked at very seriously. And I think the hundred-thousand-dollar—I really do. I feel the hundred thousand jobs, Andrew, is going to be a very low number. I think you're going to have many more. This is an incredible region. You're sitting on top of something special. It's all fueled by the greatest treasure on the planet: American energy. And we don't want people taking that away from us.
Two more companies have recently proposed a $10 billion investment in the great State of Ohio. Incredible State. We have tens of billions of dollars' worth of investments, and this is really good stuff that we're now negotiating. But these two are in Ohio. The energy revolution is also creating new jobs in West Virginia, [New; White House correction.] Mexico, Colorado, Texas, Kansas, Louisiana, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, all across our beautiful land. You have no idea what's going on, including, as I said before, car companies. We didn't make cars. Look, we lost 32 percent of our car companies to Mexico—before I got there, by the way. Now it's very, very hard to do that anymore. Nobody is going to be looking that way, I don't think.
And I want to thank Mexico because the President now has been great, and he's got 27,000 soldiers on our southern border and on his border with Guatemala, keeping our borders safe. Our numbers are plummeting—the people coming in—all because the Democrats won't approve fixing the loopholes and asylum. So, I want to thank Mexico. It's incredible. We have close to 27,000—so, you think of that. We never had three. I think we had about 2½ soldiers. One was sitting down all the time. We had nobody.
And don't forget, the southern border is 2,000 miles, from the Gulf to the Pacific. We have 27,000, and they're doing a great job. And they're helping themselves too because they're disrupting and really hurting the cartels. So much of that stuff is run illegally by the cartels: human trafficking, drugs, people. It's terrible. And Mexico, I'll tell you, they're—so far; I hope they're going to keep it up. I hope they're going to keep it up. But they've been great. And 27,000 people. They wouldn't have done that for any other President, that I can tell you. That I can tell you.
With us today are a few of the hard-working Pennsylvania patriots who are making this comeback possible.
Jason Eckhart is the third generation of his family to work on these grounds. And he's doing better than any of them. His father and—by the way, 3 years ago, you wouldn't have said that. Three years ago, his father would say, "Hey, I had it made." His grandparents would say, "We had it made." Now he can look at them and say, "Dad, we have it made."
His father and grandfather worked for the zinc smelting company previously housed at this site. When that plant closed in 2014, 500 jobs disappeared, like magic. Remember President Obama: "You need magic to bring back manufacturing jobs. You need a magic wand." You remember? "Not going to happen." Well, so far, we've brought back 600,000 manufacturing jobs.
And Jason never imagined he would get the chance to carry on his family's legacy. But now he has. He is carrying it on, and he's carrying it on proudly. He's a great American. Jason—where are you, Jason? Jason. Jason. Come on up, Jason. Come on. Let's get Jason up. Come on up. Jason. I'd like Jason to tell us what this great facility means to him and to his family. Thank you.
Shell Chemical Company Electrical Manager Jason Eckhart. Thank you, Mr. President.
It's been amazing to see the transformation on this site, from a hundred-year-old zinc smelter to a state-of-the-art petrochem facility. I'm very proud to be part of Pennsylvania Chemicals, to redevelop this site, and create the jobs in Western Pennsylvania for all of you.
And it's very exciting to think about what we have to come, starting this place up and having jobs into the future for our families.
As a native from this area—I'm from right here in Center Township—I can appreciate how much this means to the area. I'm really proud to be a part of this and be proud of all you guys. Thanks.
The President. Thank you. Thank you, Jason. Great. Did you enjoy doing that, Jason? Huh? I think so. You had a big group of people back here that likes you a lot. They're giving him a hard time back there, right? His friends. Thanks, Jason.
Heather Michaux grew up here in Beaver County, and has been working for Shell in other states for several years. Now she can raise her family right near her parents and loved ones, and actually be home, where she wants to be and where she belongs.
Heather, please come up and tell us about your journey. Shell Chemical Company engineer Heather Michaux. Thank you, Mr. President.
The President. Thank you.
Ms. Michaux. So, for me, the—when Shell announced that we were going to be building a facility in Beaver County, I was in Texas and I was so excited, but not just for me getting to further my career and move home. I was excited for all the possibilities that had opened up for my hometown. I was excited because I recognized the potential that a place like this has, for us to be able to hone our existing skills and to gain new ones too.
So I knew that we, the hard-working people of Western Pennsylvania—and other places in the U.S. too—would now have this fresh opportunity and would take advantage of it. And that's the opportunity that I see the thousands of you folks taking advantage of now, not only today, but we're also creating something that is going to well outlive us by building this site. And I am really proud to be a part of that legacy, sir.
The President. Thank you very much. Great job. Thank you. She'll be running for office soon. [Laughter] Fantastic job.
Samantha Polizotto was a single mom working full time when she learned about process technology training programs at the local community college, funded by Shell. She became the first woman to graduate from that program, and she made the dean's list. That's pretty good. Now she's leading the way as one of the very first production operators hired here at Shell.
Samantha, please come up and say a few words. Please. Great job. Great job.
Shell Chemical Company operator Samantha Polizotto. Growing up in Beaver County, I can recall people talking of the "good old days," when steel mills were running and, often, people were born and spent their whole lives in the same town. Local families had multiple generations working the same industry and, in many cases, the same companies.
This was a fact for our parents. But with the fall of the steel mills in this area, it began to see a period of stagnation. Hard-working men and women in this area, full of pride, still lace up their work boots, driving by the vacant skeletons of the old mills and refineries, holding onto the hope that, one day, this area would see its former glory.
The announcement of Shell Pennsylvania Chemicals Plant seems to have kindled that spark within the community. It has provided an opportunity for steady employment for many different skilled tradesmen, emptying many of the local union halls.
As a young woman, this has also afforded me an incredible opportunity to come into the ground floor of an unprecedented project. In school, I chose a field far different than many of my female colleagues. Process technology is a focused area of studies around production and operations.
Predominantly male-dominated careers, I knew there would be challenges as I entered the workforce. Being a mother and a wife, I must balance my responsibilities at work and at home. The challenges I have faced have been softened by a network of support that has been given to me not only by my family, but also through the Community College of Beaver County, my coworkers, and now, the culture of care at Shell. I am proud to play a role in this project as it restores this area and makes Beaver County great again.
The President. Thank you so much. Thank you, Samantha. That was a great job. Thank you.
To help create more opportunities for workers like Jason, Heather, and Samantha, my administration started the Pledge to America's Workers. Our partners are providing over 12 million training and enhanced career opportunities to American workers. And my daughter Ivanka is working so hard on it. She's done a great job. Twelve million people, so far, have been positively affected.
Today I'm pleased to announce that Shell is signing the Pledge to America's Workers to provide enhanced career opportunities. By the way, Shell, thank you. They're providing career opportunities to 3,300 workers over 5 years, right here in Western Pennsylvania. That's great. Thank you, fellas. Thank you very much. And thank you, Hilary, for the tremendous commitment that you've made. We really appreciate it. Fantastic job.
Under this administration, we live by two very simple words: Buy American. That's what we want. I'm going to add something: Hire American. It's about hiring American, buying American. It's about "America first." It's about "Make America Great Again." It's about "Keep America Great."
Despite all of this exceptional progress, however, some politicians in this country still want to keep America's vast energy treasures buried deep underground and let other nations take advantage of our country. Not happening anymore.
They see factories like this one not as a cause for celebration, but for condemnation. Democrats in Congress are pushing hard for the Green New Deal. How about that one? Green New Deal.
Audience members. Boo!
The President. Where it puts everybody in this room out of work—hate to tell you—and a lot more people. Everybody out of work. And other—but I don't want to speak badly about it. You know, you've heard me say this: I want to encourage them. That should be their platform. [Laughter] I don't want to do it too early. I did it very early with Pocahontas; I should have probably waited. She's staging a comeback on Sleepy Joe. [Laughter] I don't know who's going to win, but we'll have to hit Pocahontas very hard again if she does win. But she's staging a little bit of a comeback.
What a group: Pocahontas and Sleepy Joe. [Laughter] I don't think they give a damn about Western Pennsylvania, do you?
Audience members. No!
The President. I don't think so. And other radical plans to wipe out our coal. That's what they want. They want to wipe out our oil. They want to wipe out our natural gas industries, while allowing other countries to steal our jobs.
Virtually every leading Democrat has vowed to eliminate fossil fuels, obliterating millions of American jobs, devastating communities, and bankrupting factories, families, and senior citizens all across this region.
And, by the way, this is the only fuel that has the power for plants. When you have to steam up and you have to fuel up on these giant plants, these giant generators, these giant electrical factories, you need what you're doing. You need this. It's got the power. The other doesn't have the power; certainly not yet. Probably never will.
And we're not taking chances. And we have the cleanest air and water we've ever had in our country right now. The cleanest we've ever had. And we're going to keep it that way.
But we're never going to allow other countries and outside sources to take away our great wealth, because that's what they want to do. They want to take away our wealth, take away our jobs. We're not going to let it happen. To see the destructive results of the far left's energy nightmare, just compare the enormous success here in Pennsylvania with the tremendous folly happening right across a line—a little line—in New York. Both States have vast energy reserves, but New York prohibits development while Pennsylvania welcomes it.
From 2010 to 2017, natural gas production plummeted by nearly 70 percent in New York, but it soared almost 1,000 percent in Pennsylvania. And New York won't allow us to build a pipeline across because New York is sort of a long State, and we can't have pipelines going across, helping a region that's not a wealthy region at all. They have a lot of economic problems. People are leaving, left and right.
We want to get it over to the waters. We want to get it over to the oceans. We want to get it up to New England, where they have the highest energy costs anywhere in the United States. We can't get energy because New York doesn't allow the pipelines to go through. And that's going to be very costly for New York, ultimately.
As a result, families in Pennsylvania shale country got more jobs, billions of dollars in royalty payments, and wages that are significantly higher compared to their neighbors just across the State line.
Meanwhile, families in New York—I love New York; that's where I'm from. Probably, most of you don't know that. [Laughter] That's where I'm from. They're burdened with more power outages and electricity rates—you never saw anything like this—that are much, much higher than neighboring States and than your State. New York energy rates are through the roof. New England, through the roof. A lot of it has to do with the fact that we can't get pipelines through New York. New York won't let us. They won't let us.
All New York likes to do is sue me. They like to sue me. [Laughter] They're always suing. I said, "Which lawyer is handling that case?" No, they sue me for everything so they can try to stop us by any means possible. The radical left wants to do to America what they've done to New York: raise prices, kill jobs, and leave our Nation less independent and far less secure.
My vision is the exact opposite. And we want to work with New York, and we want to help New York. They need jobs in New York so badly.
You know, they talk about the environment. So you have the State line, and over here you have machinery fracking. And over here you have nothing, except poverty. Over here you have people driving new cars and nice cars. And over here you have cars that are 40 years old. Now, what does that have to do with the environment? It's the same. It's an artificial line.
And I wonder what happens when they get down there. What happens? I just wonder, is New York losing its wealth? You know what I'm talking about, right? What happens when those lines go down and they can go in any direction now? The equipment is so incredible.
So, hopefully, we can help New York. I want to help New York so much. We will never allow ourselves to be at the mercy of foreign energy suppliers. And that's what's fighting us. They don't want us to have great energy. They've made a fortune selling us energy.
You probably saw the straits the other day. Very few American boats are there. They capture—Iran, I broke up that deal. That was a good thing to do. It's a whole different country right now.
But they're capturing boats from other countries. They're not taking our boats. And one of the things that was brought up by the media, actually—and wisely and correctly brought out—we have very few boats going there anymore because we have our own oil and gas. We don't need it from the Middle East anymore. And that's why we're pursuing a future not only of energy independence—but not just words. You know, you've been hearing "energy independence" for years and years, and you'd hear it. We have real independence. But what we want now is not independence; we want American energy dominance. Dominance.
Instead of relying on foreign countries, we are now relying on American producers. And we are relying on American workers to build our own future right here on American soil. It's time.
And together, we're defending the oil and gas workers who light up our cities and uplift our communities. We're fighting for the technicians and construction workers here in Beaver County who are building a powerful engine of American commerce. There's no place like what you're seeing right outside these doors. There is no place like it.
We're here once again to stand up for the engineers and the factory workers who will shape the work of your hands into American-made products sold all over the world. That's what's going to happen. That's what you're producing.
And everyday patriots who make this all possible, you are the backbone of America. The absolute backbone. And you haven't been given the honor of having that said by other people. But you are the backbone of this country. It's true. So true.
You are the ones who work hard, pay your taxes, build your neighborhoods, obey our laws, safeguard our values, raise up your children, make this land the greatest Nation ever to exist on the face of the Earth. You are the ones who do it. We work with a lot of people, but you are there and you are doing it. You've always been loyal to America, and now you finally have a President of the United States who is loyal to you.
Our vision is proworker, projobs, profamily, progrowth, proenergy, and 100 percent pro-American.
And we're taking care of our military, and we're taking care of our vets. Veterans Choice: You've been hearing it about for 45 years. I got it approved. Veterans Choice. We're taking care of our veterans. We're taking care of our military like never, ever before.
Because Americans can do anything, go anywhere, and outperform anyone. Nobody can beat us. Nothing can stop us because winning is what Americans do. Winning is what we know best. We will keep winning, wining, winning.
And I used to tell you the story about winning. I used to say that your great leaders would come to Washington and they would say: "President, we're winning too much. We can't take it anymore. The people of Pennsylvania cannot stand winning. We haven't won for years and years and now we're winning too much. Mr. President, please, for the good of the people of Pennsylvania, stop winning. Stop creating all these jobs. Stop creating all this product. Please, sir. Please, stop winning."
And I said to them, and I will say to them: "We're never going to stop winning because nobody has ever won like what's happened over the last couple of years. Nobody's ever won like you're winning." I've more than fulfilled my promises. Even they said, "He promised things, and he actually produced more than he promised." That's true. But we're going to produce more and more.
I just want to thank everybody. With your help, factory floors across this land are once more crackling with life. Our steel mills are fired up and blazing bright. The assembly lines are roaring. Industry is booming. And the hearts of our workers, the American spirit, is soaring higher, stronger, freer, and greater than ever before. I want to thank you all for giving this Nation your very best. And your very best cannot be beaten. I want to thank you for filling America with pride. We are proud of you. We think you are just incredible, incredible people. And it's an honor for me to be with you in Pennsylvania.
Thank you very much. God bless you. God bless you.
NOTE: The President spoke at 2:06 p.m. In his remarks, he referred to Gretchen Watkins, president, Shell Oil Co., who introduced the President; 2016 Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton; Chairman of the American Battle Monuments Commission David J. Urban; Bill Maher, host, HBO's "Real Time With Bill Maher" program; Supreme Court Associate Justices Neil M. Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh; former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr.; Federal Reserve System Chair Jerome H. Powell; President Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico; Adviser to the President Ivanka M. Trump; and Senator Elizabeth A. Warren. The transcript was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on August 14.
Donald J. Trump, Remarks on American Energy and Manufacturing at the Shell Pennsylvania Chemicals Plant in Monaca, Pennsylvania Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/333787