Friday, May 10, 2024


This, as reported by The Washington Post, is both corrupt and ridiculous:
As Donald Trump sat with some of the country’s top oil executives at his Mar-a-Lago Club last month, one executive complained about how they continued to face burdensome environmental regulations despite spending $400 million to lobby the Biden administration in the last year.

Trump’s response stunned several of the executives in the room overlooking the ocean: You all are wealthy enough, he said, that you should raise $1 billion to return me to the White House. At the dinner, he vowed to immediately reverse dozens of President Biden’s environmental rules and policies and stop new ones from being enacted, according to people with knowledge of the meeting, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe a private conversation.

Giving $1 billion would be a “deal,” Trump said, because of the taxation and regulation they would avoid thanks to him, according to the people.
But why should the oil barons bribe Trump to do things he's going to do anyway, as we know from Project 2025, the blueprint for his second presidency?
... Scott Waldman has spent the better part of the year digging through Project 2025 to understand how it would shift U.S. energy and climate priorities and policies....

“To sum it up, what it’s trying to do on climate and energy is basically take the government totally away from any sort of regulation and to use the tools of the government to actually help fossil fuel companies increase their output,” he said.

For example, Project 2025 would replace the president’s clean energy adviser ... with an aide whose efforts would include revoking climate regulations and weakening permitting requirements for fossil fuel companies.

Under the plan, agencies that conduct climate research would be downsized. The U.S. military would be barred from considering climate science when planning for national security threats. And international aid that helps poorer countries respond to climate impacts would instead be used to boost coal, oil and gas. Certain agencies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency, would be downsized....

The 920-page blueprint aims to cut “every regulation or anything, including the federal science itself, that goes toward fighting climate change and reducing U.S. emissions,” Scott said.

Or, as the plan puts it: “The Biden Administration’s climate fanaticism will need a whole-of-government unwinding.”
Trump probably won't prioritize everything in the Project 2025 blueprint -- but he's likely to prioritize this. We know because he regularly mocks efforts to transition from fossil fuels. He says the use of wind power means imaginary TV viewers can't watch when there's no breeze (“‘Darling, I would like to watch the President on television tonight.’ ‘Honey, I don’t think we’ll be able to, the wind is not blowing’”). He grasps on to claims that windmill noise can cause health-threatening sleep disruptions and argues that therefore windmills cause cancer (and he also claims that wind power "kills all the birds"). He's called electric vehicles a "hoax" and said to supporters of a transition to all electric vehicles, "MAY THEY ROT IN HELL."

There's a name for Trump's viewpoint on energy: petro-masculinity.
The [fossil fuel] industry, especially in the U.S., ... serves as an avatar for a certain kind of cultural worldview, one that resonates with tough-guy masculinity and patriarchal families.

In 2011, a study in the peer-reviewed journal Global Environmental Change found that white males were overrepresented among people who denied the reality of climate change. Researchers attributed the phenomenon to a desire to “protect their cultural identity.”

... In 2014, researchers in Sweden found that climate denial was “intertwined with a masculinity of industrial modernity that is on decline.” Those who defended the industries destabilizing the planet were trying “to save an industrial society” that men like them had built and dominated, argued the researchers, whose work appeared in Norma: International Journal for Masculinity Studies.

In 2018, Virginia Tech political scientist Cara Daggett gave the concept a name: petro-masculinity.

“The concept of petro-masculinity suggests that fossil fuels mean more than profit,” Daggett wrote in the international studies journal Millennium. “Fossil fuels also contribute to making identities, which poses risks for post-carbon energy politics.”
Most people think Trump is purely "transactional" and has no strong opinions, but I think this is visceral for him. So if he's elected, especially with a GOP Congress, he'll do what the oil barons want whether or not they give him money. (And remember, this anti-renewable absolutism is mainstream in the GOP, and has been for years, going back to the pre-Trump era.)

The Post story reports on one reason oil billionaires might want to donate to Trump:
“You’ve been waiting on a permit for five years; you’ll get it on Day 1,” Trump told the executives....
He'll be handing out permits like a new store handing out free samples, but it might be worth bribing him to get to the front of the line.

I assume this won't be the only time Trump asks businessmen for bribes. He says he's planning to deport every undocumented immigrant in America. Trump's brain, Stephen Miller, says there'll be raids on workplaces.
More broadly, Mr. Miller said a new Trump administration would shift from the ICE practice of arresting specific people to carrying out workplace raids and other sweeps in public places aimed at arresting scores of unauthorized immigrants at once.
If this happens, it will be very disruptive to businesses, including some big businesses. I think Trump will tell (or is already telling) executives of companies that hire a lot of undocumented workers, "Bribe me and I won't raid your factories." And they'll pay up.

No comments: