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'Drill, baby, drill:' Donald Trump raises money from the oil and gas industry

'Drill, baby, drill:' Donald Trump raises money from the oil and gas industry


WASHINGTON - Donald Trump headlined a fundraiser with energy executives in Texas on Wednesday, just weeks after telling industry leaders he would remove regulations on their business - and asking for $1 billion in donations.

The former president and presumptive Republican 2024 White House nominee has made no secret of his desire to unleash the oil and gas industry if he wins in November, frequently invoking the pledge to "drill, baby, drill," and making it part of his plan to be a "dictator" for a day.

During a December town hall in Iowa, asked by Fox News host Sean Hannity about criticism that he wants to be a dictator, Trump replied: "No, no, no - other than day one. We’re closing the border, and we’re drilling, drilling, drilling. After that, I’m not a dictator.’”

The Trump campaign did not comment on the Houston fundraiser.

Trump has campaigned and raised money throughout his hush money trial in New York City, which come Tuesday will shift toward a climatic end as prosecutors and defense attorneys make final arguments to the jury before they begin deliberations in the first criminal case in U.S. history to involve a former president.

Prep for the polls: See who is running for president and compare where they stand on key issues in our Voter Guide

Trump's courting of the oil and gas industries was a common theme during his first term, which included the appointment in 2017 of former Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson to be U.S. secretary of state.

In 2024, Trump's efforts have again drawn scrutiny from environmentalist and Democratic lawmakers. They said Trump is putting the presidency up for sale, in an effort to promote dirty fossil fuels and curb clean energy initiatives pursued by President Joe Biden's administration.

"Donald Trump is going directly from the courtroom to courting Big Oil," said Alex Glass, managing director of communications for the organization Climate Power.

Glass said that Trump visited Houston "to cash in on his pitch to Big Oil that, for the bargain price of $1 billion in campaign contributions, will save them $110 billion in promised tax breaks while Americans are left to foot the bill."

The lunch was hosted by Harold Hamm, founder of Continental Resources; Kelcy Warren, executive chairman of Energy Transfer Partners; and Vicki Hollub, CEO of Occidental Petroleum, according to the invitation.

Outside the hotel, protesters held signs that read "Out of Court/Courting Big Oil."

The Washington Post this month reported that Trump hosted a meeting of oil executives in April at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla.

Trump asked the executives to "raise $1 billion to return me to the White House," and vowed to "immediately reverse dozens of President Biden's environmental rules and policies and stop new ones from being enacted," the Post reported.

U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., top Democrat on the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability, sent a letter to nine energy company CEOs seeking details about what he called "quid pro quo financial agreements related to U.S. energy policy."

In a statement accompanying the letters, Raskin said that "media reports raise significant potential ethical, campaign finance, and legal issues that would flow from the effective sale of American energy and regulatory policy to commercial interests in return for large campaign contributions."

Karoline Leavitt, national press secretary for the Trump campaign, said Biden "is controlled by environmental extremists who are trying to implement the most radical energy agenda in history."

Trump, she said, "is supported by people who share his vision of American energy dominance to protect our national security and bring down the cost of living for all Americans.”

Read the latest issue of the OGV Energy magazine HERE

Published: 27-05-2024

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