May 23,2024

Finance, Budget Committees Launch Joint Investigation into Donald Trump’s Quid Pro Quo Offer to Big Oil

Washington, D.C. – Following reports that former President Donald Trump made quid pro quo propositions to Big Oil executives—promising to roll back climate policies if he were re-elected in exchange for donations to his campaign— Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., are demanding answers from nine oil and gas companies and their trade associations.

As has been widely reported, former President Trump requested $1 billion in campaign contributions from fossil fuel industry executives, promising in turn to roll back environmental regulations, hasten permitting and leasing approvals, and preserve or enhance tax benefits that the oil and gas industry enjoys. This policies-for-money transaction is particularly concerning given other reports that the oil and gas industry is drafting “ready-to-sign” executive orders eviscerating environmental policies, to be signed by Mr. Trump if elected. 

“Time and time again, both Mr. Trump and the U.S. oil and gas industry have proved they are willing to sell out Americans to pad their own pockets,” wrote the senators. “As Mr. Trump funnels campaign money into his businesses and uses it as a slush fund to pay his legal fees, Big Oil has been lobbying aggressively to protect and expand its profits at the expense of the American taxpayer.   And now, emboldened by impunity, Mr. Trump and Big Oil are flaunting their indifference to U.S. citizens’ economic well-being for all to see, conferring on how to trade campaign cash for policy changes.  Such potential abuses must be scrutinized.”

Among other requests, the senators are seeking documents and information related to: 

  • Materials that were distributed to any attendees of the fundraising event at which Trump solicited the quid pro quo
  • Descriptions of policy proposals discussed at the event, including any promises by former President Trump or his campaign regarding official actions by a possible Trump Administration
  • Copies of any draft executive orders, regulatory proposals, or other policy-related documents that were created for the purpose of potential use in a possible Trump Administration
  • All donations made by the companies, any political action committee affiliated with the companies, or any executive officers of the companies to the Trump 2024 campaign, any outside political spending organizations supporting the Trump 2024 campaign, and any organizations incorporated under sections 501(c)(3), (4), or (6) of the Internal Revenue Code since January 1, 2023


Click here to read the letter to American Petroleum Institute

Click here to read the letter to Cheniere Energy

Click here to read the letter to Chesapeake Energy

Click here to read the letter to Chevron

Click here to read the letter to Continental Resources

Click here to read the letter to EQT Corporation

Click here to read the letter to ExxonMobil

Click here to read the letter to Occidental Petroleum

Click here to read the letter to Venture Global LNG