Watch CBS News

President Trump Visits Shell Cracker Plant In Monaca

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, N.J. (AP/KDKA) - President Donald Trump is showcasing the growing effort to capitalize on western Pennsylvania's natural gas deposits by turning gas into plastics.

Trump traveled to Monaca, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday to tour Shell's soon-to-be-completed Pennsylvania Petrochemicals Complex. The facility is being built in an area hungry for investment and will convert ethane to approximately 1.6 million tons of polyethylene a year.

It was billed as an official non-political event in front of an estimated 5,100, but it is hard for this president to not interject politics in an area that helped him win the White House in 2016.

"I did very well here," Trump said during his speech Tuesday.

REPORTER UPDATE: Chris Hoffman, President Trump Visits Beaver County

LIVE: President Trump speaks at the Shell Chemical cracker plant.

Posted by KDKA-TV | CBS Pittsburgh on Tuesday, August 13, 2019

President Trump also told workers at the plant that the largest investment in the state's history would have never happened without him

That's despite the fact that Shell announced its plans to build the complex in 2012, when President Barack Obama was in office.

There is little doubt that the president's support of fossil fuels, like natural gas, allows cracker plants like this to exist.

"This facility will transform abundant natural gas, and we have a lot of it, fracked from Pennsylvania wells, which they never would have allowed you to take if I weren't president," Trump said.

The president kept returning to politics, with a special pitch to union members.

"I'm going to speak to your union leaders to say, 'I hope you're going to support Trump, OK,'" the president said. "And if they don't, vote them the hell out of office because they aren't doing their jobs."

Although Tuesday's visit was not a campaign rally but an official White House Tour, it often had the feel of a rally as the president hailed American manufacturing.

Trump landed at Pittsburgh International Aiport around 1 p.m. and he was accompanied to the plant by Energy Secretary Rick Perry.

The trip is Trump's latest effort to highlight the burning of dirty fossil fuels in defiance of increasingly urgent warnings on climate change and an embrace of plastics at a time when the world is increasingly alarmed over its ubiquity and impact.

WATCH: A live report recapping President Donald Trump's visit from KDKA's Jon Delano.

But the president said the plant will create jobs, increase American energy independence and boost American manufacturing.

(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.