Trump promises oil pipelines and fracking and raises millions of dollars at Texas fundraisers – 05/24/2024 at 12:00

Trump promises oil pipelines and fracking and raises millions of dollars at Texas fundraisers – 05/24/2024 at 12:00
Trump promises oil pipelines and fracking and raises millions of dollars at Texas fundraisers – 05/24/2024 at 12:00

((Automated translation by Reuters, please see disclaimer https://bit.ly/rtrsauto))

(Reprint from article originally published Thursday) by Arathy Somasekhar

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump raised tens of millions of dollars during a fundraising tour of Texas this week, promising to support the oil and gas industry by backing new pipelines and reinstating fracking on federal lands.

Mr. Trump has attracted support from the energy industry through his pro-fossil fuel, anti-regulation agenda. He regularly criticizes President Joe Biden’s policies aimed at accelerating the energy transition to a low-carbon economy.

The oil and gas industry has boomed under President Biden, despite increased regulation and a more climate-focused administration, making record profits and pumping more oil and gas. gas than ever before. The industry has opposed Mr. Biden’s ban on fracking on federal lands and the recent halt to approval of new gas export facilities.

Oil billionaires Jeff Hildebrand, founder of Hilcorp Energy, the largest privately held U.S. oil company, George Bishop, founder of GeoSouthern Energy, Harold Hamm, founder of Continental Resources, and Kelcy Warren, director of the pipeline company Energy Transfer Partners, participated in a fundraiser in Houston on Wednesday.

Mr. Trump received a standing ovation when he promised to build more natural gas pipelines if elected and to reinstate fracking in areas banned by Mr. Biden, said Mark Carr, a Houston entrepreneur who attended. Many oil and gas pipelines were delayed or abandoned under the administrations of Mr. Trump and Mr. Biden due to community opposition, legal challenges and lengthy permitting processes.

“It’s going to revive energy in the United States,” said Mr. Carr, who founded the Christian Brothers Automotive chain in Houston.

Mr. Trump said America should stop using “tarred” Venezuelan oil and use American oil instead, said another attendee, who declined to be named. The United States has resumed limited imports of Venezuelan crude under Mr. Biden’s leadership, in order to process it in American refineries.

Mr. Trump has focused on tax cuts for the industry, “streamlining” the permitting process and removing some regulations, said donor and oil executive Dan Eberhart, who was in Houston to the event. “We can forge our way to energy security and low gas prices,” Mr. Eberhart said.

The Houston fundraiser was organized by the “Trump 47 Committee,” a fundraising alliance between the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee, a fundraising group that has spent tens of millions of dollars on Mr. Trump’s legal costs, and a series of state Republican parties. The Houston luncheon and a smaller, more intimate panel discussion with a group of about 45 executives were followed by a fundraising event in Dallas on Wednesday evening.

A Trump campaign official said the Texas tour brought in at least $15 million. Two sources told Reuters that the various events held in Texas had brought in a total of around $40 million. Reuters was not immediately able to confirm the figure.

After a series of donor events across the country, Mr. Trump surpassed Biden in fundraising last month for the first time.

Separately, the US Senate Finance and Budget Committees launched an investigation Thursday into Mr. Trump’s offer to remove a series of environmental regulations in exchange for $1 billion in campaign contributions.

The investigation comes a week after the top Democratic lawmaker on a House watchdog panel asked nine oil companies for information about “quid proffers” the former president made at a campaign event. last spring at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

According to the invitations, members of the welcoming committee were to pay $250,000 per couple and commit to raising an additional $500,000. The president was asked to donate about $845,000 per couple and raise an additional $1.69 million.

After lunch, a panel discussion featured Vicki Hollub, chief executive of Occidental Petroleum OXY.N , and Tillman Fertitta, a Houston entertainment and sports mogul who owns the hotel where the event took place. They were entitled to a question-and-answer session with the candidate.

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, Mr. Trump’s former rival for the Republican nomination and now a possible running mate, according to another participant, was also present in Houston.

Teofilo Lingi, chief executive of EK-Petrol, said the former president was “good for the oil industry” and relations with Angola, where his oil trading and exploration company was founded.

Stricter environmental regulations since Mr. Trump’s term have “made it more difficult for us to import from Angola,” Mr. Lingi said, citing tariffs.

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