State of the Union draws energy, environment guests

By Nico Portuondo, Kelsey Brugger | 03/07/2024 01:25 PM EST

Lawmakers from both parties and President Joe Biden have invited energy workers and leaders to the Capitol on Thursday night.

Natalie King.

Natalie King, founder and CEO of Dunamis Clean Energy Partners, at the White House last year. She will be a guest at the State of the Union address Thursday night. Alex Brandon/AP

House Speaker Mike Johnson is planning to put the natural gas industry front and center — literally — during President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address on Thursday night.

The Louisiana Republican will host Jonathan Wheelis, operations manager for oil and gas exploration company Chesapeake Energy, as a guest as Biden continues to face congressional and industry pressure to nix his pause on new liquefied natural gas export permits.

Wheelis, who according to Johnson oversees more 1,000 oil and gas wells in northern Louisiana and beyond, will be one of more than a dozen guests of Johnson. Most represent, in the GOP’s view, victims of the president’s policies on a wide range of issues.


“Three years of [the Biden] administration’s failed policies have … jeopardized our safety, reduced our standard of living and weakened our standing on the world stage,” Johnson said. “I am honored to host these special guests and spotlight their personal stories.”