Several top executives in the oil and gas industries are backing other Republicans over Donald Trump in the 2024 primaries.
Donald Trump Has a New Problem
A big part of Donald Trump’s bragging about his presidency is that he brought the United States low gas prices and “energy independence.”
This is of somewhat mixed truth, as presidents don’t determine energy prices, and the absolute lows of gas prices were a result of the global energy crash during the pandemic, rather than any action taken by the then-president.
However, Politico reported this week that Trump has lost the support of some top figures in the energy industry.
“Oil and gas magnate Harold Hamm donated to Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley,” the report said. “Pipeline mogul Kelcy Warren and Midland Energy Inc. CEO Syed Javaid Anwar contributed to DeSantis, too. Billionaire energy executive Jeffery Hildebrand is backing North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum’s campaign.”
Hamm, once known as “Trump’s energy whisperer,” has particularly soured on the ex-president, Politico said.
Even coal executive Joe Craft and his wife Kelly Craft, Trump’s United Nations ambassador, have donated to several, non-Trump candidates, including Ron DeSantis, Mike Pence, Vivek Ramaswamy and Chris Christie.
Why the move away from Trump from those energy industry figures?
“The simple explanation is that Trump has issues,” said Bill Miller, a longtime Texas lobbyist, told Politico. ““It’s kind of like a car that’s not quite in good shape and it’s got to go on a road trip. There are gonna be problems… as a consequence, donors are spreading their wealth.”
“Compared to other areas where you see differences, particularly foreign policy and aid to Ukraine, where you see greater divisions, energy seems to be one area where Republicans are really coalescing,” Neil Chatterjee, a former Trump energy adviser said in that article.
The idea, per the June story, was to “swiftly dismantle Biden’s climate agenda,” once a Republican president takes office. Doing so, beyond regulatory changes, would likely require repeals of such laws as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act, which would require Republicans to control Congress.
What will that entail?
“As the 2024 race ramps up, an army of political nonprofits, think tanks and Trump alumni are working to fill in the blanks and draft a battle plan for the next Republican administration,” the ClimateWire story said. “The result, experts and insiders say, likely will be a boost to oil and gas exploration; an attack on environmental, social and governance investing; and the rollback of green regulations and clean energy tax breaks from the Biden administration.”
“We need to move a lot faster with the regulations, we need to be ready to go on Day One because otherwise it takes much too long to do and — if the next administration is Democrat — it will just roll them back,” Diana Furchtgott-Roth, director of the Center for Energy, Climate and Environment at the Heritage Foundation, told ClimateWire. “So it’s very important to get those off the ground very fast.”
DeSantis, in a speech Wednesday, vowed to overturn Biden-era electric vehicle policies.
“I want our own domestic energy. I want the jobs associated with that and I want to save the American automobile. We are ripping out all of Biden’s electric vehicle mandates on day one,” DeSantis said Wednesday. Last month, he vetoed a bill in Florida that would have made it easier for the state to buy electric vehicles.
Trump’s campaign website, meanwhile, vows to “unleash energy dominance.”
“Joe Biden reversed the Trump Energy Revolution and is now enriching foreign adversaries abroad. President Trump will unleash the production of domestic energy resources, reduce the soaring price of gasoline, diesel and natural gas, promote energy security for our friends around the world, eliminate the socialist Green New Deal and ensure the United States is never again at the mercy of a foreign supplier of energy,” the site says.
Expertise and Experience
Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.