South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem was a keynote speaker at the 2023 Steamboat Institute Freedom Conference, held in Beaver Creek Colorado earlier this week. She introduced herself as the governor who did not impose stay-at-home orders nor mask mandates during the pandemic, and boasted about being “kicked in the head” on national TV by liberals including Elizabeth Warren and Rachel Maddow who called her decisions dangerous and irresponsible.
“But my people were happy and they were happy because they were free,” says Noem.
[Note: According to The New York Times, “since the beginning of the pandemic…at least 1 in 275 residents” in South Dakota (population, 895,376) “have died from the coronavirus, a total of 3,222 deaths.”]
At the conference, Noem was also interviewed by Philip Wegmann, Steamboat Institute Senior Blankley Fellow and White House Reporter for RealClearPolitics. When he asked the governor for her current opinion on the U.S. involvement in Ukraine, Noem said: “We can still support Ukraine, defending itself from Russia, without just talking about it in just dollars and cents.”
Noem claims there are “a dozen different ways” the U.S. can show its strength against Russia including “drilling on our lands and in our waters again.” By tapping into the American energy supply, Noem says, “We can crush them in the energy sector tomorrow if we just had a leader in the White House that just decided — and starve Russia — and show them [that we are boss].”
Note: On his first day in office, President Biden suspended oil and gas leases in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (reversing Trump’s policy), and wants oil and energy companies to pay more to drill on public federal land and waters. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s debt ceiling game of chicken with Biden later won concessions on drilling favorable to the oil industry.
Noem targets Biden, but the amount of oil the U.S. produces isn’t decided by just one person or entity. According to a 2022 survey of executives at 141 oil companies by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, the “most salient reason” the U.S. isn’t pumping more oil is because Wall Street “investors don’t want companies to produce a lot more oil, fearing that it will hasten the end of high oil prices.”