Donald Trump speaks at active oil rig

Then-President Donald Trump spoke to city officials and employees of Double Eagle Energy at the site of an active oil rig on July 29, 2020 in Midland, Texas.

(Photo: Montinique Monroe/Getty Images)

Trump to Big Oil Execs: Give Me $1 Billion and I'll Help You Wreck the Planet

"You won't read a more important story today," said one commentator. "Trump is willing to literally destroy the planet for $1 billion."

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump made a straightforward offer to some of the top fossil fuel executives in the United States during a dinner at his Mar-a-Lago club last month, which marked the hottest April on record.

According to new reporting, Trump pledged to swiftly gut climate regulations put in place by the Biden administration if the oil and gas industry raises $1 billion for his 2024 presidential campaign.

The "remarkably blunt and transactional pitch," reported by The Washington Post, was Trump's latest explicit statement of his intention to give the fossil fuel industry free rein to wreck the planet if he wins a second term in power. Executives from Exxon, Chevron, Occidental Petroleum, and other prominent fossil fuel companies reportedly attended the Mar-a-Lago dinner.

Late last year, Trump said he would be a dictator on the first day of his second term, vowing to use his executive authority to "close the border" and "drill, drill, drill" for the fossil fuels that are driving global temperatures to catastrophic extremes and imperiling hopes for a livable future.

The Post reported Thursday that Trump said a $1 billion investment in his run against Democratic President Joe Biden would be a "deal" for Big Oil "because of the taxation and regulation they would avoid thanks to him."

"The contrast between the two candidates on climate policy could not be more stark," the Post noted. "Biden has called global warming an 'existential threat' and over the last three years, his administration has finalized 100 new environmental regulations aimed at cutting air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, restricting toxic chemicals, and conserving public lands and waters. In comparison, Trump has called climate change a 'hoax,' and his administration weakened or wiped out more than 125 environmental rules and policies over four years."

Will Bunch, a columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer, wrote in response to the Post's reporting that "you won't read a more important story today."

"Trump is willing to literally destroy the planet for $1 billion," Bunch added.

"Republicans want to sell you out to Big Oil to line their pockets."

In recent months, Trump and his allies have laid out how they intend to resume and accelerate that destructive deregulatory blitz if the former president wins another term in November.

Project 2025, a coalition of dozens of right-wing organizations including the Heritage Foundation, crafted a detailed presidential transition guide that calls for a dramatic expansion of U.S. fossil fuel infrastructure, aggressive rollbacks of climate rules, and steep cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Meanwhile, as Politicoreported Wednesday, fossil fuel industry lawyers and lobbyists are in the process of "drawing up ready-to-sign executive orders for Donald Trump aimed at pushing natural gas exports, cutting drilling costs, and increasing offshore oil leases in case he wins a second term."

"Six energy industry lawyers and lobbyists interviewed by Politico described the effort to craft executive orders and other policy paperwork that they see as more effective than anything a second Trump administration could devise on its own," the outlet noted. "Those include a quick reversal of Biden's pause on new natural gas export permits and preparations for wider and cheaper access to federal lands and waters for drilling."

A recent study estimated that a Trump victory in 2024 could result in an additional 4 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions by the end of the decade, inflicting more than $900 billion in global climate damages.

So far, the fossil fuel industry and their allies have donated more than $6.4 million to Trump's joint fundraising committee in the first three months of 2024, the Post noted Thursday, citing an analysis by Climate Power.

The Texas Tribunereported earlier this week that the oil and gas sector "has contributed more than $25 million to the GOP and conservative groups compared to $3.6 million to Democrats" thus far in the 2024 election cycle.

Harold Hamm, a billionaire oil tycoon, is planning to hold a fundraiser for Trump's reelection bid later this year, according to the Post.

Citing the Post's reporting, Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-N.J.) said Thursday that Trump "demanded a straight-up billion-dollar bribe from oil executives."

"Republicans want to sell you out to Big Oil to line their pockets," said Pascrell.

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