During his visit to Texas Wednesday, Vice President Mike Pence stopped in Midland to reinforce the administration’s support of the oil industry and attend a fundraiser for the Trump/Pence 2020 campaign.

Upon the arrival of Air Force 2 at Midland International Air and Space Port Wednesday afternoon, Pence was greeted by a crowd as he made his way to nearby “Rig 45,” operated by independent oil and natural gas company Diamondback Energy.

Vice President Pence visits with Diamondback CEO Travis Stice.

Texas Railroad Commission Chairman Christi Craddick, Diamondback executives, and some of the administration’s top Permian Basin donors accompanied the vice president as he toured the rig before giving remarks to dozens of energy employees.

During his speech he thanked those in attendance for advancing American energy independence and emphasized the administration’s support of the oil and gas industry, explaining that faith, freedom, and “our vast natural resources” were the pillars of American greatness.

“We approved the Keystone and Dakota pipeline. We rolled back the hydraulic fracking rule, the methane rule, stream buffer rule, the clean power plant, and we got America out of the disastrous job-killing Paris Climate Accord. We’re putting American energy first,” he stated. “I just came by the rig today to congratulate you and thank you … It’s amazing to think what we can accomplish here in West Texas if we can unlock the incredible potential in the Permian Basin.”

He added by 2023, it’s estimated the Permian Basin will produce 5.4 billion barrels of oil per day—more than any other area of the world.

He also addressed Trump’s United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which is currently pending before Congress. “Let me be clear to all of you who work in American energy: The USMCA is a big win for American energy,” he stated. “We’re calling on all members of Congress from Texas to get behind the USMCA and ratify it and send it to President Trump’s desk.”

Pence’s remarks were met with repeated applause and smiles from audience members as he ended with a quote from Daniel Webster:

“Let us develop the resources of our land, call forth our powers, build up its institutions, promote all its great interests, and see whether we also, in our day and generation, may not perform something worthy to be remembered.”

Lauren Melear

Lauren Melear leads the West Texas Bureau of Texas Scorecard. When not working, Lauren enjoys spending time with her husband and their dog, as well as cooking, working out, traveling to the hill country, and cheering on the fightin' Texas Aggies.