Big Oil, Somehow Claiming Victimhood, Aims to Deliver on Trump’s Quid Pro Quo

ClimateElections Donald Trump
Big Oil, Somehow Claiming Victimhood, Aims to Deliver on Trump’s Quid Pro Quo

It has been only a couple of weeks since news broke of a bizarre-but-entirely-predictable meeting between Donald Trump and a cadre of oil industry executives, in which the former president apparently said the fossil fuel set should give him $1 billion in exchange for, well, a bunch of very dirty stuff he would likely do anyway. And whoa hey look, the quid has found its quo already.

The New York Times reported on Tuesday that a collection of oil titans will host a fundraising luncheon on Wednesday to benefit a pro-Trump super PAC. The excuse for going full MAGA — literally, the super PAC is called MAGA Inc. — is that the industry is collectively appalled at a single move from the Biden administration, the pause on permitting of new liquified natural gas export facilities issued in January.

According to the Times, executives and industry reps called that move “a wake-up call,” “a setback in the relationship” with President Biden, and, poetically, “a chilling shot across the bow at the oil and gas industry.”

Two things are true here: that move really did piss off Big Oil, given the potential money at stake in those facilities; and this is a flimsy excuse for doing what they were always going to do and give the big guy all the money he asks for.

Since that pause was announced, the industry has been playing the victim, claiming that this administration is coming for its throat. Forget the Willow project approval, or the first-place status this country already has when it comes to LNG exports, or the fact that the U.S. will pump more oil out of the ground this year than any country in any year in history — breaking last year’s record, of course.

The ExxonMobils and Chevrons and Occidentals, they are truly under attack.

Mary Landrieu, a former Democratic Senator from Louisiana who now shills for the gas industry, told the Times that Big Oil would happily support Biden if only he were a bit nicer to them. He “doesn’t make the industry feel welcome,” she said. As summer heats up, and the records continue to fall, it shouldn’t need to be said: the industry should not feel welcome. Like, anywhere.

This is a business that is absolutely thriving even as its disastrous outcomes rain down on the rest of us, royals feasting in the great hall while the castle walls crumble on the peasants.

The executives in the room at Mar-A-Lago where Trump’s little offer took place — House Oversight Democrats have opened an inquiry into the dinner, which I’m sure will result in serious consequences as always — were reportedly “stunned” by Trump’s bit of quiet-part-loud. They needed about twelve days to get over their shock.

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