President Trump delivered a speech Tuesday in a town in western Pennsylvania. That much we know. Was it the speech that was planned? Probably not as his words ranged all over the political and social map, mostly claiming credit for what he perceives as his own successes.
The campaign-style speech, more than an hour long, was ostensibly about the region’s extensive natural gas deposits and took place at a nearly completed Shell “cracker plant,” so-called because of the high-heat process that turns fracked natural gas into one of the precursors for plastic.
But Trump “meandered through several topics … trade, immigration, trucks, emoluments, his 2016 victory, union leaders, his poll numbers, the media, steel, China” and more, wrote pool reporter Toluse Olorunnipa.
Before touring the Pennsylvania Petrochemicals Complex in Potter, a village of fewer than 600 north of Pittsburgh, Trump spoke to thousands of construction workers at the site, claiming the $6 billion facility “would never have happened” without him.
“In fact, Shell announced its plans to build the complex in 2012, when President Barack Obama was in office,” reports the Associated Press.
The speech, which was over an hour, had little to do with the new Shell plant and everything to do with whatever popped into Trump’s head.
In his speech, Trump celebrated “clean, affordable, all American natural gas — powerful, clean, natural gas.”
But critics insist the new cracker plant will become the largest air polluter in western Pennsylvania.
The very notion of “fracking for plastic” alarms environmentalists and other activists, “who warn of potential health and safety risks to nearby residents and bemoan the production of ever more plastic,” the AP says.
For the workers who weren’t allowed to leave until Trump’s motorcade departed, it became tense as they had been standing for hours.