Remarks by the Vice President During a Tour of the Permian Basin Oil Field and Diamondback Oil Rig in Midland, Texas
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you all very much. It is great to be in West Texas in the heart of an American energy renaissance, the Permian Basin. (Applause.)
I'm delighted to be here with the great Diamondback team. I'm also delighted to be with the Secretary of the Interior, David Bernhardt, who traveled with us to Texas today; Chairman Christi Craddick. To Travis, to Mike, to Carey, to Bubba, and to the whole team here operating Latshaw Drilling Rig 45: Thank you for setting the pace for American energy dominance. (Applause.)
I just hung up the phone a couple of minutes ago, on my way out to the rig, with a friend of mine. I told him I was in West Texas with a bunch of people that were drilling for oil and I was headed out to Rig 45, and I think he sounded just a little bit jealous. So let me bring greetings from someone who loves American energy and loves the state of Texas. I bring greetings from the 45th President of the United States of America, President Donald Trump. He asked me to say hello. (Applause.)
It really is great to be here with all of you who are driving this American energy revolution. And I hope you all know, from the very beginning of our administration, this has been a President and an American administration that's been celebrating American production on American soil.
We approved the Keystone and Dakota pipeline. We rolled back the hydraulic fracking rule, methane rule, the stream-buffer rule, the Clean Power Plan. And we got America out of the disastrous, job-killing Paris Climate Accord. We're putting American energy first, and it's driving a growing American economy. (Applause.)
But for everything that the President and this administration and our allies in Congress have made possible to advance the interest of American energy independence, it's all of you that have been doing the work. And I just came by the rig today just to congratulate you and thank you.
It's amazing to think what we can accomplish here in West Texas if we continue to unlock the incredible potential of the Permian Basin. Eighty-six thousand square miles hold 20 of the nation's top 100 oil fields. And by 2023, I'm told they'll produce 5.4 million barrels per day. That's more than any area of the world other than two different countries. More than any single member of OPEC other than Saudi Arabia. That is energy dominance. That's American leadership. (Applause.)
And I recognize the only reason this is coming about here in the Permian Basin is because of all of you and because of the extraordinary advance of drilling technology. It's kind of amazing for this Midwesterner to think that back when you could only drill downward, a rig could produce about 120,000 barrels of oil in 35 years. But now, with the new technology, being able to drill horizontally, a rig can produce up to 200,000 barrels in just one year.
And Diamondback Energy has been leading the way in American energy production, and the Permian Basin is growing by leaps and bounds. (Applause.) All of you prove every day what hard work and ingenuity and American commitment to developing our resources can mean to the life of this country.
And I just want to promise all of you that for everything that we have accomplished so far — unlocking the tremendous potential here of the Permian Basin — that's just what President Trump likes to call "a good start." And we're absolutely determined not only to continue to support energy development all across this country, but we're absolutely going to continue to fight for trade deals that open the way to export American energy around the world on an increasing basis. (Applause.)
As we speak, we've been working to expand access to foreign markets for American energy. We're putting American jobs, American energy, and American workers first.
As you know, the President renegotiated the NAFTA agreement, and the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement is now before the United States Congress. Now, let me be clear to all of you who work in American energy: The USMCA is a big win for American energy, and Congress should approve it this year. (Applause.)
I mean, American — the USMCA, just so you know, will allow American companies to continue building infrastructure we need to carry American energy into Mexico. It will preserve the investor-state dispute settlement that protects American energy companies. And it will keep Mexico's energy resources open to development by American companies. It will simply strengthen American energy in a broad range of ways. And we need this agreement to become law. And we're calling on all the members of Congress from Texas to get behind the USMCA and ratify it and send it to President Trump's desk. (Applause.)
So thank you again. Mr. Secretary, thank you for your commitment to American energy independence and the responsible development of our natural resources.
And thank you all for giving me such a warm welcome. I look forward to greeting as many of you as time will permit. But I really did want to come out here just to tell you how much the President and I support the work that you're doing every day and how inspired we are and the American people are with the incredible progress that's being made in the Permian Basin.
On the way here, on Air Force Two, I was looking at charts about oil exploration in various parts of the country. And you may be going — you may be going vertically down, but those charts show that what you're doing here — American oil production in the Permian Basin is going straight up thanks to what you all are doing. And the American people are inspired. (Applause.)
And make no mistake about it: As we work to strengthen the foundations of this country, we have a President, you have a Vice President, that understands that our natural resources are central to American greatness.
You know, I've always believed, when you look back along the long, storied history of this country, the three pillars of American greatness are our faith, our freedom, and our vast natural resources. The founders of this country understood that, and one generation after next understood that. And you're part of a generation that's renewing American energy leadership.
There's a quote on the wall of the House of Representatives, where I served for 12 years. And right above the words, "In God We Trust," are some words of Daniel Webster that I'll leave you with today. He said famously in the 19th century, and I quote, "Let us develop the resources of [this] land [and] call forth its power." Let us "build up its institutions [and] promote all its great interests" so that we might, in our time, do "something worthy to be remembered."
Let me say to all of you, as you strengthen the foundations of energy independence in America: You are making America stronger as a result. And with your continued efforts here in West Texas, developing the vast, natural, God-given resources that we have in this land, I know we will make America more prosperous than ever before. We will make America safer than ever before. And we will make America great again.
Thank you all very much. God bless you. And keep up the great work, Diamondback. We're proud of you all. (Applause.)
Mike Pence, Remarks by the Vice President During a Tour of the Permian Basin Oil Field and Diamondback Oil Rig in Midland, Texas Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/334559