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Trump gives speech in Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH – Under siege and under the microscope in recent weeks, President Donald Trump came to the erstwhile Steel City espousing the energy industry and his energy initiatives, while displaying an abundance of energy himself.

“I came here three years making promises, and you’re a lot happier now, much wealthier and you’re producing a lot of energy,” he said Wednesday afternoon, during his keynote address at the Shale Insight conference, a natural gas industry-related event at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center downtown.

“We are making a great energy superpower in the world.”

He addressed a crowd estimated at 9,000, a large grouping that was loud at times but controlled — except for a solitary protester who got in and directed a derogatory remark at Trump before being jeered and chased by nearby presidential supporters.

Protesters did gather outside during the event, resulting in a reported dozen or so arrests.

Trump, a Republican, was the first president to attend the ninth-annual conference, an autumnal event. He did, however, make closing remarks at the 2016 Shale Insight, when he was campaigning — the occasion to which he was referring on the promises.

This was the commander in chief’s second visit to Western Pennsylvania in 72 days. He spoke Aug. 13 at the petrochemical cracker plant that Shell Chemicals is building in Potter Township, Beaver County.

Trump is facing an inquiry by the U.S. House as to whether he sought Ukraine’s assistance in investigating his political opponents, in exchange for U.S. funding. Some observers, as a result, were anticipating venomous attacks toward Democrats. He did dash the Dems a number of times, but in a calmer manner than he did at the cracker plant.

He stuck to his agenda of touting energy development in the United State, generating manufacturing jobs and lauding workers from Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia – three states he carried in 2016, en route to the White House. He, in fact, praised workers and residents of those states – all swing states for the 2020 election – over and over.

“Nobody does it better than people in Marcellus Shale country,” the 45th president said. “It would be nice if New York (a state that bans fracking and pipelines) would allow pipelines so people in New England could get much lower gas prices.”

The president said he “promised to unleash American resources (oil and gas) like never before. They belong to the people of this country.”

Trump had three speakers individually join him at the dais, including Bonnie Moore, a lifelong Washington County resident and farm owner.

“Until this administration,” she said, “I lived in an area that was declining and the population was declining. Under this administration, I’ve seen growth, job growth and residents letting oil and gas companies use their land.

“I want to thank President Trump for revitalizing our area and America,” she said.

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