President Trump Speaks At Double Eagle Energy Rig In Midland, Texas

Then-President Donald Trump speaks to city officials and employees of Double Eagle Energy as U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) (3rd L) on the site of an active oil rig on July 29, 2020 in Midland, Texas. Trump began his visit to the Permian Basin at a fundraising event in Odessa and concluded in Midland for a tour the oil rig and to discuss energy policy.

(Photo by Montinique Monroe/Getty Images)

11,000% Return: Trump's $1 Billion Offer Could Yield $110 Billion Windfall for Big Oil

A new analysis explores the possible payout if fossil fuel companies—who have already shown a willingness to put a price tag on the value of planet Earth—agree to the presumptive Republican nominee's election year "quid pro quo" deal.

A new analysis reveals that the alleged $1 billion election year "quid pro quo" offer that presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump made to executives of major oil company's could, if they agreed to the deal, bank them a handsome profit.

According to the study by Friends of the Earth Action, first reported by The Guardian on Thursday, the "remarkably blunt and transactional" offer from Trump—in which $1 billion in campaign funding put together by the nation's major oil companies would be repaid upon his election with massive deregulation of the oil and gas sector as well as tax relief for the industry—would yield a major windfall for those same corporations, including an estimated $110 billion from the tax breaks alone.

As The Guardian reports:

Biden wants to eliminate the tax breaks, which include long-standing incentives to help drill for oil and gas, with a recent White House budget proposal targeting $35bn in domestic subsidies and $75bn in overseas fossil fuel income.

"Big oil executivess are sweating in their seats at the thought of losing $110bn in special tax loopholes under Biden in 2025," said Lukas Ross, a campaigner at Friends of the Earth Action, which conducted the analysis.

Ross said the tax breaks are worth nearly 11,000% more than the amount Trump allegedly asked the executives for in donations. "If Trump promises to protect polluter handouts during tax negotiations, then his $1bn shakedown is a cheap insurance policy for the industry" he said.

Republicans in Congress last year confirmed that if Trump wins back the White House and the GOP resume control of both chambers, they will move aggressively to make the Republican's 2017 tax cuts, which largely benefited the wealthy and corporations, permanent. As some of the most profitable companies in the U.S., oil and gas companies stand to benefit greatly from that outcome.

In Florida last month, not long before his meeting with oil executives, Trump told a different crowd of "rich as hell" supporters gathered at Mar-a-Lago: "We're gonna give you tax cuts, we're gonna pay of our debt." The problem with the second half of that claim is presented in a recent CBO report which found that another wave of tax cuts like those passed by the GOP in 2017 would skyrocket the national debt by an estimated $4.6 trillion over the next ten years.

Earlier this week, House Democrats, led by Oversight Committee Ranking Member Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), launched a probe into the "quid pro quo" allegations between Trump and Big Oil, including letters to company executives believed to have been in attendance.

The blatant nature of Trump's corrupt intent, according to some political observers, is an opportunity that Democrats and champions of climate action and other progressive causes should not miss.

Writing about the circumstances in The New Yorker on Wednesday, journalist and veteran climate activist Bill McKibben argued that the stakes of this election are made plain in what Trump has offered the fossil fuel industry in exchange for its financial backing.

"Trump's reported billion-dollar offer to fossil-fuel executives shows that this is the key year to save the planet," McKibben writes.

"Given four years to finish the implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act, a second-term Biden Administration might finally be able to break the hold of fossil fuel’s political influence," his essay explains. "Another term of Trump, however—and with all that it means for undercutting global efforts at climate regulation, as well—offers an entirely plausible and entirely opposite outcome: climate chaos combined with continued fossil-fuel dependence."

What's true, according to McKibben, is that the fossil fuel industry "might well decide that defeating Biden in November is worth a lot of money." Citing recent profits by Chevron of $21 billion and ExxonMobil's $36 billion, he said the oil giants will "definitely give Trump something, and the return on investment on that donation—if successful—would be better than the luckiest well they ever hit."

The new analysis by Friends of the Earth Action shows that McKibben—once again—probably has the math right.

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