“You’ve been waiting on a permit for five years” Donald Trump’s Transactional Offer to Oil Executives Stuns Industry Leaders

 “You’ve been waiting on a permit for five years” Donald Trump’s Transactional Offer to Oil Executives Stuns Industry Leaders

Source: NPR

At an event held last month at his Mar-a-Lago resort, former President Donald Trump made a transactional offer that reportedly “stunned” several top oil executives. According to the Washington Post, the meeting took a surprising turn when one executive complained about the environmental regulations the oil industry continued to face despite spending $400 million lobbying President Joe Biden’s administration. Trump responded with a blunt proposition that left many attendees astonished.

Trump reportedly suggested that the wealthy executives should raise $1 billion to support his bid to return to the White House. In return, he vowed to immediately reverse dozens of President Biden’s environmental regulations and policies while preventing new ones from being enacted. According to sources familiar with the meeting who spoke on the condition of anonymity, Trump’s response caught the executives off guard, particularly given the directness of his appeal for campaign contributions.

During the dinner, Trump outlined his vision for a second term that included rolling back Biden’s environmental mandates, particularly those related to clean energy and electric vehicles. He also shared specific promises, including the authorization of new offshore drilling, fast-tracking permits, and relaxing various regulations. One attendee quoted Trump saying, “You’ve been waiting on a permit for five years, you’ll get it on Day 1.”

These commitments resonated with many executives present, who have expressed frustration with the Biden administration’s approach to environmental regulations. Dan Eberhart, the chief executive of oil-field services company Canary, criticized Biden for hindering the oil and gas industry. He noted that Trump’s “drill baby drill” philosophy aligns much better with the industry’s interests than Biden’s green-energy policies.

“Biden constantly throws a wet blanket to the oil and gas industry,” Eberhart said. “Trump’s ‘drill baby drill’ philosophy aligns much better with the oil patch than Biden’s green-energy approach. It’s a no-brainer.”

Despite their frustration with Biden, oil executives have been hesitant to fully back Trump, partly due to their hopes that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis or another Republican would present a viable challenge to the incumbent president. So far, oil donors and their allies have contributed only $6.4 million to Trump’s joint fundraising committee in the first quarter of the year. However, oil billionaire Harold Hamm and other industry figures plan to host a fundraiser for Trump later this year, which is expected to generate significantly larger sums.

Alex Witt, a senior adviser for oil and gas with Climate Power, noted that the oil executives are intrigued by Trump’s pitch, which he said demonstrates that “everything has a price” with the former president.

“They got a great return on their investment during Trump’s first term,” Witt said, “and Trump is making it crystal clear that they’re in for an even bigger payout if he’s re-elected.”

The former president’s direct appeal to the oil executives underscores his willingness to offer policy concessions in exchange for financial support, particularly as he seeks to solidify his position as the presumptive Republican nominee for the 2024 presidential race. With Trump actively courting industry leaders and promising a rollback of environmental regulations, the oil sector’s support could become a pivotal factor in shaping his potential second term in office.

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