- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 29, 2020

President Trump traveled to up-for-grabs Texas on Wednesday to warn voters that Democrat Joseph R. Biden’s “radical” green energy plans would destroy the state’s oil and gas industry.

“If these far-left politicians ever get into power, they will demolish not only your industry, but the entire U.S. economy,” Mr. Trump told an audience at an oil-drilling operation in Midland. “You will have no more energy coming out of the great state of Texas.”

The president said of his rival, “I don’t think Biden’s going to do too well in Texas. He’s already written it off.”

But public polling shows the race in Texas, historically a red state, as a statistical tie. It was Mr. Trump’s 16th trip to Texas, and he also attended a fundraiser in Odessa that brought in about $7 million for his reelection campaign and the GOP.

Texas is in the grip of a resurgence of the coronavirus, and the president urged residents to “remain vigilant.” He cited a broad range of help from the federal government, including medicines and protective gear for healthcare workers.

Underscoring the rise in cases, Rep. Louis Gohmert, Texas Republican, tested positive for COVID-19 at the White House on Wednesday morning and did not fly on Air Force One with the president to Texas, as planned. And the GOP candidate for Texas’ 7th Congressional District, Wesley Hunt, reported on Twitter that he, too, tested positive on his way to the president’s events and returned home.

The president highlighted his policies that have spurred an increase of U.S. oil and gas production by 3.1 million barrels per day, including a doubling of production in the Permian Basin in West Texas.

Mr. Trump said the Democrats would impose “impossible” zero-carbon-emissions targets that would “mean the death of American prosperity and the end of the American middle class.”

“They want to destroy our country. These people are sick,” Mr. Trump said. “There’s no respect for the American way of life. They want to wipe away every trace of religion from national life, they want to indoctrinate our children, defund our police, abolish the suburbs, incite riots, and leave every city at the mercy of the radical left.”

He predicted, “The proud people of Texas will never bow, kneel or surrender to the left-wing mob. We are telling the Washington politicians trying to abolish American energy: Don’t mess with Texas.”

Mr. Biden said Texas families are “suffering because President Trump’s inability to lead this country and combat the spread of COVID-19.”

“The pandemic has claimed the lives of more than 5,700 Texans, positive COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to climb, and hotspots are becoming harder and harder to contain,” Mr. Biden said in a campaign statement.

The Texas Oil and Gas Association said the industry directly employed 428,234 Texans in 2019. The state’s natural gas and oil industry generated $16.3 billion in taxes and state royalties in 2019.

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