Plain Talk: 'The United States used to be the best country in the world when it came to infrastructure'

Congressman Kelly Armstrong talks about power outages, energy infrastructure, working in Congress in the Biden era, and what drives intransigence in Washington D.C.

Congressman Kelly Armstrong
Congressman Kelly Armstrong (R-N.D.) prepares for an interview with CNN. Photo via Twitter
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"The policies surrounding renewable energies was a huge part of this problem," Rep. Kelly Armstrong said on this episode of Plain Talk.

The "problem" in question are the power outages that have recently plagued Texas and a vast swath of the middle of America. For Armstrong, it illustrates not just the absurdity of the government promoting intermittent forms of energy like wind and solar to the degree it has, but also the need for a renewed commitment to energy infrastructure.

It's not just the oil and gas pipelines targeted by frequently violent protests and activist litigators paid to obstruct and delay. "You think building a pipeline is hard, try building a high-voltage power line," Armstrong said.


"The United States used to be the best country in the world when it came to infrastructure," he continued. "I don't think anyone believes that anymore."

How has it been working in Congress during the Biden era? Armstrong said he was hopeful about some of the things President Joe Biden has said about bipartisanship, but he's not it turn up in the policymaking process so far.

"The take is that Biden's willing to cut a deal, but his staff isn't."

How much of that intransigence is a product of political bases that demand, with the fury of protests and social media campaigns, absolute loyalty to policy platforms?

A great deal, Armstrong says. "If MSNBC came after me for 48-hours, do you think that would help me or hurt me with my voters?" Armstrong asks.

It would help him, clearly, given North Dakota's political inclinations. "If you want to do a three-minute Fox News hit, [North Dakota] is a great place to be," he added.

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Rob Port, founder of, is a Forum Communications commentator. Reach him on Twitter at @robport or via email at .

Opinion by Rob Port
Rob Port is a news reporter, columnist, and podcast host for the Forum News Service. He has an extensive background in investigations and public records. He has covered political events in North Dakota and the upper Midwest for two decades. Reach him at Click here to subscribe to his Plain Talk podcast.
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