Trump Reportedly Asks Fossil Fuel CEOs For $1 Billion

In exchange, the former president vowed to undo many of President Joe Biden's green energy policies.

Former President Donald Trump is more than happy to fulfill the oil and gas industry’s wish list if he’s reelected — but he has an asking price.

Trump reportedly solicited top oil and gas executives to give $1 billion for his campaign to return to the White House, vowing in return to undo many of President Joe Biden’s green energy policies if he is elected in November.

Trump hosted the country’s top fossil fuel CEOs at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida last month when he “stunned” executives with the ask, according to The Washington Post. The $1 billion sum would ultimately be a “deal” for the fossil fuel industry, Trump reportedly told the executives, because of the money they would save with him in office. An anonymous industry source told the Post that Trump is likely to get some funds.

The oil and fossil fuel industry has long made its alliances with the Republican Party, which generally supports and promotes fossil fuels. Ahead of the 2024 election, the industry has been drawing up “ready-to-sign” executive orders for Trump if he wins the presidency, aimed at expanding natural gas exports and increasing offshore oil leases, Politico reported this week.

A second Trump term would mean a sharp departure from Biden’s agenda of clean energy, electric vehicles and historic efforts to fight climate change. The former president has falsely called global warming a “hoax” and has vowed to unravel Biden’s landmark climate programs included in the Inflation Reduction Act.

Republicans have spent the entirety of Biden’s term condemning what they describe as the administration’s “war” on energy, even though U.S. oil production and exports of natural gas have never been higher. They accuse Biden of being beholden to “radical environmentalists” — an ironic talking point given Trump and the GOP’s unflinching loyalty to the fossil fuel industry.

In Congress, Republicans have tried to undo many of the Biden administration’s recent environmental rules, including those regulating tailpipe emissions and heavy-duty trucks. Last week, House Republicans passed a package of bills that, among other things, would reverse Biden’s actions to limit drilling across millions of acres in Alaska and to better protect public lands by putting conservation and ecosystem restoration on equal footing with drilling, mining and other extractive uses.

The Biden administration is racing to finalize as many regulations as possible before Republicans would have an opportunity under Trump to roll them back via the Congressional Review Act, which gives Congress a few months’ time to rescind new rules implemented by the White House. If Trump becomes president, however, he could still undo them unilaterally.

Trump appears to be laying the groundwork to quickly implement many of the policy priorities of Project 2025, the sweeping blueprint that right-wing organizations have compiled to guide Trump if he is reelected in November. Certain sections of that pro-Trump memorandum are little more than an oil industry wish list. As HuffPost previously reported, the energy section of the chapter for the Interior Department was authored by Kathleen Sgamma, the president of the Western Energy Alliance, a prominent oil and gas trade association.

Trump’s quid pro quo with the industry comes as the world’s coral reefs are in the midst of a global bleaching event — only the fourth such event on record. Hundreds of climate scientists told The Guardian this week that global temperatures are on track to soar well beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels, the aspirational goal of the landmark Paris climate accords.

For years, scientists have warned about the disastrous consequences of failing to keep temperatures under the 1.5-degree mark, from rising seas and increasingly extreme weather to famines and severe social and economic disruptions. The fossil fuel industry is most responsible for the crisis and has spent decades denying and downplaying the threat, with the help of industry-allied Republicans.

Democrats criticized Trump for cozying up to fossil fuel executives, warning that it would further erode American democracy.

“Big Oil CEOs will happily use the billions they’ve made selling dirty expensive energy to further warp American democracy, if it means they can keep wrecking the planet for free,” Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) wrote in a post on X, formerly Twitter, on Thursday.

Biden’s reelection campaign also lashed out, accusing Trump of “selling out working families to Big Oil for campaign checks.”

“This is Trump’s corrupt MAGA agenda in a nutshell: Trump acting as a puppet for his largest donors ― giving them tax breaks and favorable policies while working families get screwed over,” the campaign said in a statement.

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