Democratic Senators Question Oil Execs on Trump’s $1B Request

( – Democratic senators are investigating former President Donald Trump’s request for $1 billion in campaign donations from oil executives.

Democratic Senate Budget Chair and Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse and Democratic Senate Finance Chair and Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden sent letters to nine oil companies and industry trade associations requesting information about “quid pro quo propositions” Trump made during an April meeting at Mar-a-Lago. During the meeting, Trump promised two dozen executives that if he is re-elected in November, he would roll back President Joe Biden’s clean energy and electric vehicles initiatives and called for the executives to donate $1 billion to his campaign.

In their May 23 letter to Cheniere Energy, Chesapeake Energy, Chevron, Continental Resources, EQT Corp., Exxon Mobil, Occidental Petroleum, Venture Global LNG, and trade association American Petroleum Institute, Whitehouse and Wyden accused Trump of funneling his campaign funds “into his businesses” and “as a slush fund to pay his legal fees.” The letter requests information on what policies Trump promised to enact in exchange for a donation to his campaign and what documents the company’s lawyers might be getting ready for Trump to sign if he is re-elected.

The letter follows the May 22 launch of an investigation by the House Energy & Commerce ranking member and New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone, who sent a letter to Exxon, Chevron, and other industry entities about their possible communications with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC+) officials. Pallone’s investigation comes after the Federal Trade Commission’s allegations that the former chief executive of Pioneer Natural Resources, owned by Exxon, attempted to influence OPEC+ to keep oil production at levels that would allow oil prices to remain elevated.

According to the American Petroleum Institute spokesperson Andrea Woods, the meeting was routine, noting that candidates and policymakers often meet “to discuss the need for sound energy policies. Woods called the investigation “another election-year stunt to distract from America’s need for more energy.”

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