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Trump thanks North Dakota for nomination-clinching delegates, outlines U.S. energy vision

"[Hillary] Clinton can't just shut down the mines, she could shut down the whole country," Trump said of the Democratic contender Thursday.

By Doug G. Ware
Trump thanks North Dakota for nomination-clinching delegates, outlines U.S. energy vision
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Thursday outlined some of his policy plans for the U.S. energy industry at a speech in North Dakota, during which he also slammed the Obama administration's efforts -- and thanked North Dakota supporters for finally giving him the required number of delegates to clinch the GOP nomination. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

BISMARCK, N.D., May 26 (UPI) -- White House hopeful Donald Trump on Thursday finally crossed his party's finish line and secured the necessary delegate count to clinch the Republican presidential nomination, thanks to the state of North Dakota.

Trump obtained delegate No. 1,237 in the Midwest state, meaning he has obtained the necessary delegates to be the GOP's candidate in the November general election to run against whomever the Democratic Party nominates -- former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton or Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

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Trump thanked North Dakota supporters for pushing him over the top while opening a speech that outlined his vision for the future of the U.S. energy industry.

The real estate magnate set his sights on a plan for "complete energy independence" for the United States under a Trump administration.

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Trump said if he's elected, he will take steps to entirely remove the nation's dependence on foreign fuel -- something he said the current administration has failed to do.

"Obama has done everything he can to get in the way of American energy," he told the crowd in Bismarck, while warning that Clinton would be even worse.

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"It's a choice between sharing in this great energy wealth or sharing in the poverty promised by Hillary Clinton," he said.

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He also pledged to support U.S. workers in the domestic energy industry, including coal miners.

"The miners have been so badly treated and we're gonna treat them really well. You'll see," he said. "Clinton can't just shut down the mines, she could shut down the whole country.

"If crooked Hillary Clinton is in charge, things will get much worse, believe me," he continued. "All you have to do is follow her career."

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Among various points he established during the speech is a plan to invest in the coal industry and remove federal protections for oil-rich areas in the United States, such as Alaska.

"He's taken [Alaska] completely off the table," he said of Obama, also criticizing the commander in-chief of mistakenly tying the country to the recent climate change accord struck in Paris.

"Government misconduct goes on and on," Trump lamented.

Another of the Obama administration's faults is opposing the U.S.-Canada Keystone XL pipeline, which he said would boost the nation's energy efficiency and would have no effect on the environment, whatsoever.

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"Even as he rejected [Keystone], he made a deal that allows Iran to transport more oil through its pipeline than would have ever flowed through Keystone -- with no environmental review," he said. "How stupid is that?"

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Led by a Trump White House, the billionaire promised to restore the United States as a world-leading energy producer.

"It's gonna happen. If we win. Oh, we're going to win," he added.

For the people of North Dakota, Trump said, increasing foreign dependence on energy would rob them of the benefits of their own land.

"This is your treasure and you, the American people, are entitled to share in the riches," he said.

Trump also took aim at Clinton for opposing U.S. gun rights, alleging that she would abolish the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

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