Then-President Donald Trump sits with business leaders around a dinner table

Harold Hamm sits off to the left at a dinner with then-President Donald Trump in 2018. Hamm is one of the oil and gas executives organizing a fundraising luncheon for Trump on May 22, 2024, in Houston. A member of Hamm's company, Continental Resources, was reportedly present when Trump made a quid pro quo offer to the oil and gas industry in April, asking for $1 billion in campaign money in return for favorable tax and regulation policy once elected.

(Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images)

Trump Set to Attend Big Oil Fundraiser Following Quid Pro Quo Offer

Big Oil CEOs are expected to host Trump as they seek to "pad their already enormous profits at the expense of our climate," one expert said.

Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump will reportedly attend a fundraising luncheon organized by leading oil and gas executives in Houston on Wednesday, following a controversial offer he made to the industry to roll back environmental regulations in return for $1 billion in campaign donations—with two companies associated with both events.

At his Mar-a-Lago Club last month, Trump told a group of roughly two dozen oil and gas executives that $1 billion would be a "deal" for them, given how much money they would make in reduced taxes and regulations if he is elected, TheWashington Post first reported.

Top executives at Continental Resources and Occidental Petroleum, two of the companies with representatives reportedly present when the offer was made, are among the organizers of Wednesday's luncheon, according to The New York Times. Harold Hamm, the executive chairman and founder of Continental Resources and one of the luncheon's organizers, has been a longtime supporter of Trump; he spoke at the 2016 Republican convention.

Trump's campaign has raised about $7.3 million from the oil and gas industry in the 2024 election cycle, most of it since January, while President Joe Biden has taken in just $186,000, according to OpenSecrets data reported by the Times. These figures don't include money given to super PACs.

The industry has grown less supportive of Biden since his administration paused liquefied natural gas (LNG) export permits to certain countries in January, a move that was hailed by environmental campaigners.

"This LNG pause is a huge deal for climate and environmental justice," Tiernan Sittenfeld, the senior vice president of government affairs for the League of Conservation Voters (LCV), told the Times this week.

"Big Oil gave $6.4 million to Trump's 2024 campaign in just the first three months of 2024 alone," LCV said on social media Monday. "Make no mistake: Trump and his Big Oil friends are an existential threat to our communities, planet, and future."

The pause could affect the monumental profits of the oil and gas industry. Following the fracking boom of the last two decades, the U.S. has become the world's leading exporter of LNG. Qatar, the second-largest exporter, announced plans to increase production following the U.S. pause.

During the Trump presidency, LNG exports boomed and the tax cuts that he signed disproportionately benefited the industry. Trump presumably sought to capitalize on this history in making the quid pro quo offer, which Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.) characterized as a case of "open corruption."

The quid pro quo offer was underreported by cable news, according to an analysis by Media Matters for America, but has been the subject of a congressional probe. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), ranking member of the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Accountability, sent letters to eight oil and gas firms reportedly present for the Mar-a-Lago offer and the American Petroleum Institute, a lobby group, requesting information about their financial arrangements with Trump. He expressed concern that they may have "accepted or facilitated Mr. Trump's explicit corrupt bargain."

The oil and gas industry stands to make $110 billion from tax breaks alone if Trump is elected, according to an analysis by Friends of the Earth Action released last week.

While Trump's quid pro quo offer was direct and nakedly transactional in a way that may be new, his party has long-standing oil industry ties.

"Maybe some of these Big Oil CEOs preferred a different candidate in the primary, but it was clear that they were always going to support the Republican nominee," LCV's Sittenfield said. "They are all about continuing to pad their already enormous profits at the expense of our climate."

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