The president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition said on Thursday that President Trump‘s visit to Pittsburgh was a “celebration of job growth,” touting the administration’s moves to deregulate the natural gas industry.
“We had a lot of blue-collar, manufacturing guests in our audience. Probably 6-7000 in the conference center in Pittsburgh and that’s a pretty tight location,” said David Spigelmyer, whose group organized the event, on “Fox & Friends.”
On Wednesday, Trump touted his initiatives to bolster the oil and gas industries in the country – including approving some controversial pipelines, pulling out of the Paris Agreement and abandoning former President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan – while slamming Democrats for putting the fossil fuel industry “under assault.”
“Our natural resources don’t belong to the government, they belong to the people,” Trump said during the speech at the Shale Insight Conference. “We’ve ended the war on American energy and we’ve ended the assault on American energy workers.”
The president’s speech, in front of an audience comprised heavily of blue-collar workers from Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, marked the second time in three months he has traveled to the Keystone State.
“You’re much happier than when I was here three years ago, you’re much happier now,” Trump said. “And you’re much wealthier, and you’re providing a lot more energy than you used to, that’s for sure.”
Pennsylvania, which Trump narrowly won in 2016, would be a crucial state to win in the next presidential election.
The president railed against a ban on fracking – which had the support of many Democrats seeking to unseat him in 2020 – arguing that the controversial method of extracting natural gas brought wealth to rural and downtrodden areas and will create a boom in construction jobs throughout the state.
Spigelmyer said not long ago, the United States was “60 percent dependent on foreign sources of energy. Today, the country is “awash in natural gas” and moving toward energy independence.
“It was an honor to have the president here in Pittsburgh again to talk about now an area that’s supplying a third of the nation’s natural gas supply,” he said, lamenting Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s pledge to ban fracking if she is elected president in 2020.
Fox News’ Andrew O’Reilly contributed to this report.