Trump’s alleged $1 billion campaign deal with Big Oil: $110 billion windfall revealed

An investigation into Donald Trump’s alleged quid pro quo offer to oil executives uncovers potential tax savings of $110 billion, raising serious ethical, legal, and environmental concerns.

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Donald Trump’s alleged offer to major oil executives, seeking $1 billion in campaign donations in exchange for significant regulatory rollbacks and tax breaks, could potentially save the industry $110 billion, according to a recent analysis. This revelation, stemming from a fundraising dinner held at Mar-a-Lago, has sparked a congressional investigation and widespread criticism over the implications of such a deal.

At a fundraising dinner last month at Mar-a-Lago, Donald Trump reportedly proposed a deal to over 20 executives from major oil companies, including Chevron, ExxonMobil, and Occidental Petroleum. Trump allegedly promised to remove barriers to drilling, scrap a pause on gas exports, and reverse new car pollution rules in exchange for $1 billion in campaign contributions. The potential tax savings for these companies, should Trump be re-elected, are estimated to be around $110 billion.

Lukas Ross, a campaigner at Friends of the Earth Action, highlighted the magnitude of the proposed deal. “Big oil executives are sweating in their seats at the thought of losing $110 billion in special tax loopholes under Biden in 2025,” Ross said. “If Trump promises to protect polluter handouts during tax negotiations, then his $1 billion shakedown is a cheap insurance policy for the industry.”

Congressional Democrats have launched an investigation into the ethical, campaign finance, and legal issues raised by the alleged deal. A prominent watchdog group is also exploring whether the meeting warrants legal action. One Democratic senator described the offer as “a blatant quid pro quo.”

House Oversight Committee Ranking Member Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) led the charge, issuing letters to company executives believed to have attended the dinner. “The American people deserve to know if their government is being auctioned off to the highest bidder,” Raskin said.

Trump’s supporters and representatives from the oil industry have defended the meeting and the proposed tax policies. An API spokesperson dismissed the Democrats’ investigation as “patently false and an attempt to distract from a needed debate about America’s future – one that requires more energy, including more oil and natural gas.”

The estimated $110 billion in tax breaks at risk under Biden’s administration includes long-standing incentives to help drill for oil and gas. A recent White House budget proposal targeted $35 billion in domestic subsidies and $75 billion in overseas fossil fuel income. These tax breaks have been a significant point of contention, with Biden’s administration aiming to eliminate them.

Lobbying records show that major oil companies like Chevron, Exxon, and ConocoPhillips have actively met with lawmakers to discuss preserving these tax benefits. Chevron and ConocoPhillips lobbied for a deduction for intangible drilling costs, the largest federal subsidy for U.S. oil and gas companies, worth $10 billion according to federal figures.

The potential environmental impact of the alleged deal is significant. Increased drilling and reduced pollution regulations could exacerbate climate change and environmental degradation. Ethical concerns regarding the influence of corporate donations on political decisions and policy-making are also prominent.

Bill McKibben, a veteran climate activist, underscored the stakes in this election. “Trump’s reported billion-dollar offer to fossil-fuel executives shows that this is the key year to save the planet,” McKibben wrote. “Another term of Trump offers an entirely plausible outcome: climate chaos combined with continued fossil-fuel dependence.”

Reactions from advocacy groups have been strong. The U.S. Cannabis Council praised the DOJ’s move as a “tectonic shift away from the failed policies of the last 50 years.” However, critics argue that rescheduling alone may not address all issues related to marijuana prohibition, such as the disproportionate impact on marginalized communities and the need for broader criminal justice reform.

Public opinion on the role of big money in politics and its impact on environmental policies remains polarized. Watchdog organizations have called for greater transparency and stricter campaign finance regulations to prevent undue influence from corporate interests.

The alleged deal highlights the ongoing battle between corporate interests and public policy aimed at addressing climate change. If the proposed tax breaks are preserved, it could undermine efforts to implement progressive tax and environmental reforms. Future administrations may face challenges in balancing industry profits with environmental protection and public health.

The investigation into Donald Trump’s alleged $1 billion campaign deal with big oil executives reveals a potential $110 billion windfall for the industry, raising serious ethical, legal, and environmental concerns. As the congressional investigation progresses, the implications for U.S. tax policy, environmental regulations, and political integrity will be closely scrutinized.

Reflecting on the importance of this development, Lukas Ross stated, “If we allow corporate interests to dictate our policies, we jeopardize not only our democratic principles but also the future of our planet.” 

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Ruth Milka started as an intern for NationofChange in 2015. Known for her thoughtful and thorough approach, Ruth is committed to shedding light on the intersection of environmental issues and their impact on human communities. Her reporting consistently highlights the urgency of environmental challenges while emphasizing the human stories at the heart of these issues. Ruth’s work is driven by a passion for truth and a dedication to informing the public about critical global matters concerning the environment and human rights.

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