Photo of Nikki Haley

Remarks at the American Energy Security Summit in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

September 25, 2023

[As prepared for delivery.]

Some things in life you never forget. Like what I experienced three months ago in Midland, Texas.

I was there to roll out my energy plan. But what I said paled in comparison to what I saw.

I went to an oil rig in the Permian Basin. The operator showed me around. He was obviously proud. So were the workers I met. They're doing a job, but in their hearts, they know it's so much more. As I talked with them, I gained an even deeper appreciation for the men and women who work in American energy.

They're patriots. Every American should see what I saw. There isn't a person in our country who doesn't owe them a debt of gratitude.

That rig isn't just bringing up oil from underground. It's lifting up our entire country. It's fueling a more prosperous life for working families – and a more peaceful world.

Every drop of American energy we produce is a godsend to families. It makes everything more affordable – the bills we pay, the gas we pump, the everyday goods and groceries we buy. Energy puts money in families' pockets. And no one benefits more than the least fortunate.

But the benefits of American energy don't end there. Not even close. Every ounce of energy we get right here, at home, we don't have to buy from someone else – especially our enemies. We should stop sending them our people's money. And we should never rely on foreign enemies. Lord knows we have more than enough energy right under our feet.

All these thoughts went through my head as I toured that rig. And as I stood there, I made a promise to myself, and every American…

We're going to open our country's energy floodgates. There is no such thing as too much American energy!

This shouldn't be a controversial statement. But unlike energy, common sense is in short supply.

In fact, in Joe Biden, we have a president who seems to genuinely hate American energy.

We saw that fact on full display this month. Joe Biden made almost half the National Petroleum Reserve off-limits to oil exploration. Americans are going to pay higher prices for this foolishness. And with less energy, we're going to get more dependent on foreign countries.

But that's the consistent theme of the past two years – more suffering at home, less security abroad. It's the inevitable result of virtually every energy decision Joe Biden has made. He's crushing producers under an avalanche of mandates. He's blocked safe new drilling off our coasts. He canceled the Keystone pipeline. And when the president talks, he demonizes companies like yours, while insulting and ignoring the workers I met on that Midland rig.

Joe Biden's endgame could hardly be more clear: Kill American jobs, crush American companies, and keep American energy in the ground – forever. This isn't just un-American. It's anti-American – and it must end!

I can hardly think of a more self-defeating strategy than Joe Biden's.

Americans are paying more but getting less. Under this administration, energy prices have risen twice as fast as everything else. A gallon of gas costs two-thirds more. No wonder: Before he took his oath of office, he pledged to put oil companies out of business. We can no longer wait to see if Joe Biden is a man of his word.

Americans are poorer now because of him. And states like Texas and California are on the brink of blackouts, with more states heading that way. But you know who's winning? That's right – our enemies.

The same Joe Biden who's keeping American energy in the ground is letting Iran ship over a million barrels of oil a day to China. And the same Joe Biden who's blocking drilling in the states gave a green light to drilling in Venezuela. Let me be clear: We should never buy dirty oil from Iran or Venezuela!

Worst of all, Joe Biden is playing right into the hands of Communist China. He's forcing America to go "green," yet that means sending greenbacks to China. We're buying billions of dollars of Chinese solar panels, wind turbines, EV batteries, and so much more. It's irresponsible. China is profiting off of Americans while being the world's worst polluter, by far.

Because of our president, China is stronger and richer, and America is weaker and poorer. It's like Jimmy Carter all over again. And just like Jimmy Carter, we need to make Joe Biden a one-term president.

I'm running for president to end this madness.

We need to protect Americans in our dangerous world. And we need to empower our people with better jobs and bigger paychecks. We don't have to choose between security and prosperity. This has never been an either/or. It's always been both. The key to stronger families and a safer country is American energy.

I have a plan to unleash our boundless resources. Yet before I dive in, I want to make one thing clear.

My goal isn't just energy independence, though we should always have that. My goal is to make America energy dominant. We shouldn't play by anyone's rules – not China, not Russia, not Iran, no one. We should make the world play by our rules – so that Americans win, every time!

As president, I will never demonize our energy companies or demean the patriots who work for them. I will never weaponize the federal government to crush job creators or kill good-paying jobs. It's time for Washington to stop working against American energy – and start working for our national interest.

We'll make it easier to produce far more energy than we do now. We will never stand in the way of clean, safe, and responsible exploration and development.

We'll fast-track permits for new projects and green-light pipelines and storage facilities from coast to coast. It shouldn't take years, much less a decade, to get a permit. It should take weeks – if not days. If we could build the Pentagon in 16 months, we can approve the Keystone pipeline in 16 minutes.

We'll stop radical special interest groups from abusing our legal system to stop production in its tracks. And we won't let frivolous excuses keep American energy in the ground any longer.

Case in point. Right now, in Texas, Joe Biden is trying to stifle energy production to protect the sagebrush lizard. That's insane for two reasons.

First, our president cares more about a lizard than good-paying jobs and greater national security. Second, Americans are smart enough to produce energy and protect nature at the same time. Joe Biden should trust the American people – not insult our intelligence and destroy our economy!

Under my plan, we'll stop Joe Biden's disastrous campaign to fight climate change with corporate welfare.

He's made America far more dependent on Communist China. Yet the pandemic proved that we should never rely on an enemy for critical supplies. We have all the resources we need to make the most advanced technology we want. And we don't have to impoverish ourselves to protect the environment. The best way to make our country cleaner, healthier, and happier is to use more American energy – not less.

China isn't the only country I'll hold accountable. I'll stand up to every enemy that uses energy against us. Russia, Iran, and Venezuela are using their oil to advance their evil – and Joe Biden is letting them get away with it. I won't. I'll introduce our enemies to their worst nightmare – American energy dominance.

The Chinese Communist Party… Vladimir Putin… the ayatollahs in Iran… the tyrant in Venezuela – they're worried about those patriotic workers I met in Midland. Now imagine how scared they'll be when we have even more people drilling and pumping. When we unleash American energy, our enemies don't stand a chance!

History proves that no one is more creative or ingenious than Americans. When we have the freedom to dream and dare, we transform lives in incredible ways. The world is cleaner, richer, and safer today because Americans did what we do best.

Yet we've only begun to make a difference. We have the power to do even more good, for even more people, in our country, and across the world.

This is why I stand for American energy. It's the cornerstone of our national power. Energy is the guaranteed path to opportunity and prosperity for our families. Energy is the path to security in these dangerous times.

It's high time we stopped moving backwards, and started moving forward, toward a stronger and safer United States. I promise to partner with you to reach that future, for the benefit of every American.

Nikki Haley, Remarks at the American Energy Security Summit in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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