Vice President Mike Pence and Republican state leaders spoke to a crowd of Ohio oil and gas producers at the association’s annual luncheon on Friday.
Pence spoke for a half-hour about the growth of the gas and oil industry.
At one point he said that America will never be a socialist country – prompting a standing ovation of the crowd.
Joined on stage by his wife, Karen, Pence praise Ohio’s gas and oil producers for their growth in the industry.
“Energy is growing this economy, is making America stronger and it’s strengthening the foundation of families here in Ohio and all across this nation,” said Pence.
His appearance comes as President Donald Trump’s administration works to promote rollbacks of environmental and safety rules for the energy sector.
“Now under President Donald Trump the war on coal is over. American energy is booming,” Pence said.
“It is remarkable to think that the United States of America is the largest producer of oil and natural gas in the world and you make that happen every day.”
Lt. Gov. Jon Husted assured the audience of oil and gas producers that Gov. Mike DeWine would not propose in next week’s draft of the budget to increase Ohio’s oil and gas severance taxes.
“We produced enough oil and gas to cover 9-percent of the needs in the state of Ohio. In 2019, we will exceed the need of what Ohio residents can use,” said Husted.
Towards the end of his speech Pence took the time to boost the president’s fight for a wall on the Mexican border.
In response to Pence’s visit to Columbus, the Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper released the following statement:
“Donald Trump and Mike Pence haven’t lifted a finger to save the GM factory in Lordstown and the thousands of Ohio jobs that are on the line. Trump broke his promise to the people of the Mahoning Valley that manufacturing jobs would be coming back, so the vice president can spare us whatever fake outrage of the week he wants to drum up. Pence and Trump need to stop making flowery speeches and get to work saving Ohio jobs.”