Former U.S. President and current presidential candidate Donald Trump has solidified his position as the preferred candidate of the oil and gas industry for the Republican presidential nomination, amassing nearly ten times more in donations from the sector than his GOP rival Nikki Haley.
In stark contrast to the $7.37 million donated to Trump, President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign has received a comparatively modest $635,000 from industry donors, despite overseeing a period of record oil production and profits, according to a recent Bloomberg report.
The oil and gas sector’s financial backing is playing a pivotal role in Trump’s 2024 campaign, marking it as one of the top industries supporting his bid for a return to the White House. This comes as major donors from finance, private equity, and venture capital have shifted their support to Haley.
Trump notably also gained support from some in the cryptocurrency community after saying he wouldn’t allow the Federal Reserve to create a central bank digital currency (CBDC), in a stance that resonates with the industry, but that drew skepticism on whether his potential return to the presidency would change the government’s approach to enforcement actions.
During a campaign speech in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, the former US President said he was making “another promise to protect Americans from government tyranny” by “never” allowing the creation of a CBDC. He said:
Such a currency would give the federal government, our federal government, absolute control over your money […] they could take your money, and you wouldn’t even know it was gone.
The crypto industry is watching closely to see how the upcoming election will impact SEC Chair Gary Gensler’s approach to regulating crypto initiatives and services. Gensler has taken a tough stance on the industry, suing major exchanges like Coinbase and Binance after the FTX collapse over alleged securities violations.
A potential Trump administration’s stance on crypto regulation remains ambiguous, according to Barron’s. The industry’s fate hinges on appointments to regulatory bodies like the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which could range from supportive to restrictive.
Initially, oil and gas donations were dispersed among various Republican candidates, including Haley and Florida Governor Ron Desantis. However, as Trump’s prospects of securing the nomination improved over the year, the industry’s support coalesced around him.
While Haley has attracted some support from the energy sector, her campaign has seen more significant financial backing from major Wall Street figures like Citadel’s Ken Griffin, investor Stan Druckenmiller, and Elliott Investment Management’s Paul Singer.
While President Biden is known for his aggressive stance on climate change and renewable energy, the U.S. is currently seeing an unexpected surge in domestic oil and gas production with November seeing a record production of 13.3 million barrels of crude oil per day, a significant increase from the 11 million barrels per day in 2020.
Exports of oil and gas have also doubled compared to levels before Biden took office. Industry leaders have said that the rise comes in spite of Biden’s policies and not as their result, as Biden has supported electric vehicles, methane emission fees, and restrictions on new drilling rights. Trump, on the other hand, has promised to embrace fossil fuel production.
Featured image via Unsplash.