July 29th was a great day for Odessa and the Permian Basin. I appreciate the President for being here to highlight our dominance in the energy industry. In a surprise, one of the purposes of the trip was for the President to show support for the oilpatch by taking action to promote our energy independence by signing four critical permits for vital pipeline and railway infrastructure on our border. Also, seeing all the video of Air Force One descending over pumpjacks has been very neat!
This was the first time in history that a sitting president has come to Odessa. And if that wasn’t enough, Governor Greg Abbott, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick and U.S. Senator Ted Cruz were all in town as well. I’m so thankful to the great team of Odessans who worked hard to put this historic event together: Bubba Saulsbury, Sherry Hurt, Kirk Edwards, Sondra and Toby Eoff, and so many others!
The spotlight is on the Permian Basin for good reason. United States national security is significantly impacted by our ability to maintain energy independence and the taxes collected by the state on oil and gas production provide funding for education and highways in every corner of Texas. The work we do out here in West Texas has a global impact.
The national and statewide importance of the oil field is something we should all be proud of, but pride in our illustrious history doesn’t pay today’s bills. I know many West Texas families and businesses are still struggling mightily amid the ongoing health crisis and dip in oil prices and demand. We are also confident that these tough times are temporary, and that the tough people of West Texas will endure and emerge prepared to resume our role as America’s heart and soul of energy production.
That is why I remain committed to working my tail off to pass legislation during the upcoming session of the Texas Legislature to dedicate a portion of the oil and gas production tax revenue already collected by the state and reinvest them in the regions where the energy is produced to ensure our roads, schools, first responders, and workforce are always in a position to sustain Texas’ energy dominance.
Another feather in the cap of our community was the fact that many important key Texas leaders made the trip to the Permian Basin for the President’s visit. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick and former Governor Rick Perry were among those who made the trip. Congressman Mike Conaway, Congressman Jodie Arrington, State Senator Charles Perry, State Senator Kel Seliger, State Senator Pete Flores, State Rep. Chris Paddie and State Rep. Tom Craddick were also on hand with the President. August Pfluger and Tony Gonzales, who are running to serve West Texas in Congress, and many others were also present in Odessa for Wednesday’s historic visit.
It was an honor to help host such a distinguished group and a privilege to show off our corner of Texas this week. I’m proud of Odessa and the people of the Permian Basin!
God bless Texas!