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Trump proposed removing electric vehicle incentives for $1 billion donation from Big Oil

During a meeting with top oil executives at his Mar-a-Lago club last month, Donald Trump offered to roll back the Biden administration’s environmental policies in exchange for a $1 billion donation dollars for his presidential re-election campaign, reports the Washington Post.

The donation would be a “deal,” Trump said, because of the taxes and regulations that oil companies would avoid through it, according to the report, which cited people with knowledge of the conversation who spoke under the guise of anonymity.

Under this quid pro quo, Trump reportedly said he would abandon the EPA’s stricter emissions rules, which is expected to boost electric car sales – something he is quite critical of – early in the next decade (while also stopping short of imposing an electric vehicle mandate). to end the Biden administration’s freeze on permits for new liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports and auction more leases for oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

Oilfield (Image: Flickr user Johnny Choura, used under CC license)

Oilfield (Image: Flickr user Johnny Choura, used under CC license)

Under Biden, the United States now produces more oil than any other country, at nearly 13 million barrels per day last year, the report notes. ExxonMobil and Chevron, the two largest U.S. energy companies, also reported their biggest profits in a decade last year. But the oil industry continues to complain about Biden’s policies, particularly the EPA’s new emissions rules.

Still, oil companies are reluctant to finance Trump’s campaign, according to the report. Oil interests contributed more than $6.4 million to Trump’s joint fundraising committee in the first three months of this year, according to an analysis by the advocacy group Climate Power. In contrast, an oil executive reportedly said at the Mar-a-Lago meeting that the industry had spent $400 million lobbying the Biden administration this year.

It is worth remembering that these companies have diversified their investments, becoming “energy companies” rather than oil companies, and that gasoline is considered a historic business, but one that will remain important for a long time. So it’s not surprising that they didn’t immediately accept Trump’s offer.

BP to buy Tesla chargers

BP to buy Tesla chargers

If oil executives accepted this offer from the former president, they would be reasonably assured that he would follow through. During the last Trump presidency, his agencies attempted to revoke California’s emissions authority — and failed — and delayed imposing higher fines on automakers that failed to meet their targets of emissions.

If re-elected, eliminating stricter emissions rules and pro-electric vehicle policies may not be the only way Trump disrupts the auto industry. He has announced that he will seek to impose 100% tariffs on Chinese vehicles, even if they are made in Mexico, with some indications that he may try to go further in dismantling what remains of NAFTA, which allows vehicles built in Mexico by other global automakers to be tariff-free and eligible for certain federal incentives.