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Mike Pence discusses energy and upcoming elections in Cheyenne

Mike Pence
Mark Ralston
AFP/Getty Images

Former Vice President Mike Pence spoke to a crowd of regional energy industry leaders in Cheyenne, as part of the Rockies Petroleum Conference.

The Vice President was noticeably upbeat and energetic. He opened with a crowd pleaser.

“I'm a Christian, a conservative and a Republican in that order,” he said to a room full of clapping. “And it's my privilege to be here in the great state of Wyoming at the Rockies Petroleum Conference, just 75 days away from a great victory for American energy independence.”

Pence referenced the upcoming fall election many times over the course of his almost hour-long speech. He drove home that he thinks the Biden administration’s climate policy is an attack on the oil and gas industries.

“What’s causing record inflation, what’s causing high gasoline prices, is not the war in Ukraine,” Pence said. “It’s the war on energy in America, and it has to stop, and it has to stop now.”

He said environmentalists like to fight the energy industry in court, but applauded Wyoming’s Governor Mark Gordon for fighting back.

“But one of the things I love about what Governor Mark Gordon is doing, he's headed to the courthouse too,” Pence said. “Let's go, right? Buckle up.”

Pence said the Trump administration put in place 300 conservative justices who will support the oil and gas industry in court battles.

However, according to a United Nations report from this spring, the extreme dangers of climate change can only be avoided through reducing greenhouse gas pollution, which is directly linked to the oil and gas industry, something Biden has tried to target through climate legislation.

Nevertheless, Pence said those policies must be reversed, and that the federal government needs to be less involved with extractive industry regulation. He said he anticipates Republicans will take back Congress in the upcoming fall elections, as well as the White House again in two years.

“When that day comes, I know the best days for Wyoming and America are yet to come,” Pence said. “So let’s get to work, friends. Let’s go make it happen. God bless you.”

Pence repeatedly thanked his Wyoming colleagues Senators Cynthia Lummis and John Barrasso who also spoke at the conference.

In a question and answer session, an audience member asked Pence about the January Sixth attack on the capital. Reports later showed Pence was in danger, as rioters intended to stop him from certifying the 2020 election results.

“Look, I understand the disappointment in the election, I should remember I was on the ballot. But we have a constitution. And elections are governed at the state level,” he said. “Once the states had certified our elections, and once the courts had passed on that my duty was clear that day. And I'll always believe in my heart of hearts that I did my duty that day.”

Pence turned the conversation back to his main talking point of voting in upcoming elections.

“Elections are about the future,” he said.

Pence’s upbeat energy and repeated talk about Republicans taking back the White House at times seemed like a campaign speech. This summer he has hinted at the possibility of running for president in 2024. But, Pence spoke very positively about his transition to civilian life.

“I bought five acres and a pond. I bought a John Deere mower,” he said. “It wasn’t our first plan for these four years, but it’s been a blessing to be home, to be among family and friends and to just be ‘Mike’ in Indiana.”

Caitlin Tan is the Energy and Natural Resources reporter based in Sublette County, Wyoming. Since graduating from the University of Wyoming in 2017, she’s reported on salmon in Alaska, folkways in Appalachia and helped produce 'All Things Considered' in Washington D.C. She formerly co-hosted the podcast ‘Inside Appalachia.' You can typically find her outside in the mountains with her two dogs.
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