During a speech to the Congressional GOP retreat in White Sulphur Springs, WV, President Trump let the public in on the story of how Paul Ryan convinced him to sign a bill letting oil companies drill in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), "one of the great potential fields anywhere in the world."
The approval to drill in ANWR was included in the GOP tax reform plan passed in 2017.
"I never appreciated ANWR so much," Trump said. But "a friend of mine called, who is int hat world and in that business, and asked: 'Is it true you're thinking about opening ANWR?' [I told him] yeah, I think we're going to get it. He said, 'Are you kidding? That is the biggest thing, by itself.' He said Ronald Reagan and every president since has wanted to get ANWR approved,'"
"And after that I said, oh, make sure it's in the bill," Trump said. "Amazing how that had an impact."
"That had a very big impact on me, Paul," the president said to Speaker Ryan. "I really didn't care about it, but when I heard that everybody wanted for 40 years they've been trying to get it approved, I said make sure you don't lose ANWR!"