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Trump ready to ‘get out of the way’ of oil industry, would approve Keystone pipeline

BISMARCK -- Donald Trump shook hands with North Dakota Republican delegates and thanked them for putting him over the top in the campaign for the presidential nomination."I'm so honored by these people," Trump said, with the delegates lined up be...

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Presumptive Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a news conference in Bismarck, North Dakota US May 26, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
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BISMARCK - Donald Trump shook hands with North Dakota Republican delegates and thanked them for putting him over the top in the campaign for the presidential nomination.
“I’m so honored by these people,” Trump said, with the delegates lined up behind him. “They have such great sense.”
In a press conference prior to speaking to 7,000 people Thursday at the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference, Trump said what many oil industry representatives are hoping to hear:
“I think the federal government should get out of the way,” Trump told reporters, when asked about his stance on energy regulation. “The federal government is in the way. we have so much potential energy that people wouldn’t even believe it.”
Trump also said he would approve the Keystone XL Pipeline, but said the U.S. should benefit.
“I want the Keystone Pipeline, but the people of the United States should be given a significant piece of the profits,” Trump said.
Trump also said that unlike Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, he supports fracking.
“They want to absolutely knock out fracking. You do that, you’re going to be back into the Middle East and you’re going to be begging for oil again,” Trump said. “Not going to happen. Not with me.”
U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., and Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm joined Trump during the press conference. Cramer, who has been asked to advise Trump on energy issues, has said that Trump “gets it” when it comes to energy.
“Trump simply wants to let the industry do its job, with government acting as a responsible regulator rather than social reformist,” Cramer has said.
Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm, who has endorsed Trump and was on hand for his speech Thursday, said in a statement the current administration’s “heavy-handed tactics” have put America’s energy renaissance at risk.
“Hillary Clinton has promised more of the same,” Hamm said. “America needs a businessman, not a bureaucrat. Donald Trump cares about jobs and the economy. He cares about keeping the American Energy Renaissance alive and setting our nation’s pent-up potential free.”
Several in attendance at the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference were wearing red “Make the Bakken Great Again” caps.
Jim Arthaud, CEO of MBI Energy Services, said he’s been “on the Trump train” since last June.
“People did say he doesn’t have international experience. He probably has a business in every civilized nation in the world, so he’s been exposed internationally, he’s a businessman,” Arthaud said. “He has to deal with every regulatory agency there is so he can see the burden of it,” Arthaud said.
Former college football coach and ESPN commentator Lou Holtz, another one of Thursday’s featured speakers, also has endorsed Trump.
“I think one thing about Donald Trump that I like and other people may not is that he’s not politically correct,” Holtz said. “I think being politically correct has hurt this country tremendously.”
Not everyone at the oil industry conference was Trump supporters. The Laborers International Union of North America, which had a large presence at the conference, has endorsed Hillary Clinton.
“If you ask our members, they’ll tell you that America never stopped being great,” said spokesman Kevin Pranis. “They want a president who not only supports our industries, but will also help make sure laborers earn a fair wage and come home safe every night.”
North Dakota Democrats issued statements Thursday blasting the state’s Republican for supporting Trumps “brand of fear, ignorance, and hatred.
“North Dakotans are always interested in thoughtful, bipartisan dialogue about the issues facing our state and country,” said Dem-NPL Chairwoman Rep. Kylie Oversen. “Unfortunately, that is the exact opposite of what North Dakotans hear from Trump. Instead of substantive ideas to move our country forward, he offers insults and name calling.”

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