Senate May Investigate Trump's Solicitation Of Billion-Dollar Oil Bribe

Senate May Investigate Trump's Solicitation Of Billion-Dollar Oil Bribe

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse

Former President Donald Trump

Former President Donald Trump recently made a controversial proposal to a gathering of oil executives and lobbyists at his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida: Favorable policy in exchange for $1 billion in campaign cash. Now, it looks as if the U.S. Senate may launch an official inquiry into the ex-president.

That's according to The New Republic's Greg Sargent, who spoke to Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) about Trump's recent entreaty to the oil industry. Whitehouse said it was "highly likely" that the Senate Budget Committee would investigate the former president over his brazen offer.

"The phrase that instantly came to mind as I was reading the story was ‘quid pro quo,’" Whitehouse said, adding that he was also concerned about a series of proposed executive orders oil lobbyists drafted for Trump and to have ready to sign on day one should he win a second term in November. "Put those things together and it starts to look mighty damn corrupt."

Many of the environmental policies Trump suggested he would do away with in a second term are in the Inflation Reduction Act, which was the $485 billion bill Biden signed into law in 2022 that included a swath of clean energy infrastructure initiatives and incentives for electric vehicle development. Economists projected the clean energy development grants could generate roughly $1.5 trillion in new economic activity, and could reduce carbon dioxide emissions by five billion tons before the next decade.

Conversely, some of the executive orders the oil industry has prepared for Trump would undo the progress on climate Biden has made since taking office. Politico reported that some of the orders would lift Biden's pause on new natural gas export permits, open up new protected federal lands for more oil drilling and allow for more offshore oil drilling leases.

Trump casting Biden as an opponent of Big Oil is somewhat confusing, given that the United States officially hit record-high domestic oil production levels earlier this year. The U.S. Energy Information Administration found that in 2023, the U.S. produced 13 million barrels of oil per day on average, making the United States the world's largest oil producer.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

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