Trump knocks Sanders' energy policies, touts U.S. energy independence

New Mexico lawmaker credits Trump for helping boosting U.S. energy production

Last Updated:
May 26, 2020 - 5:47pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

President Trump warned Tuesday that a Bernie Sanders presidency would shutter oil refineries across the U.S.

"We’re the largest producer of energy by far, and it wasn’t that way not so long ago," Trump said at a National Association of Counties conference, in Washington, D.C. 

He also called to the stage Rebecca Long, a commissioner in New Mexico's Lee County, who said Trump's policies have helped her county become the second-largest oil and gas producer in the United States.

"Thank you from Lee County, New Mexico, where your energy agenda is helping us with quicker right-of-way permits on BLM [Bureau of Land Management] land and drilling permits," Long said. "We’re getting those faster. So that’s helping America be energy independent. So we appreciate that." 

Long continued: "In December 2016, right before you came on, we had 17 active drilling rigs producing 7 million barrels of oil. In December of 2019, we had 53 active drilling rigs with 18.2 million barrels of oil. So right now, Lee County, New Mexico, is the second-largest oil and gas producer in the United States, and soon we will be first. And thank you so much from all you do for us. Energy independence is so important."

Trump said after Long spoke: "We’re not getting political because I refuse to do that. But you know Rebecca, if Bernie or one of these characters get in you can close up your energy -- you do know that."

The Green New Deal that Sanders, a democratic socialist and Vermont Independent senator seeking the Democratic nomination, has proposed includes eliminating the use of fossil fuels by 2050.

"Climate change is an existential threat to the entire country and the entire world, and we must be extraordinarily aggressive,” Sanders has said.