Former President Trump Suggests Easing FTC Scrutiny for Oil Industry if

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In a recent fundraising event in Houston, former President Donald Trump hinted to oil executives that his administration could ease the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) scrutiny of mergers and acquisitions within the oil industry if he returns to the White House.

According to reports by the Washington Post, Trump made these comments on May 22 during a gathering where oil executives voiced frustrations over the lengthy and detailed processes required by the FTC for deal approvals.

Occidental Petroleum CEO Vicki Hollub was among the executives who shared concerns, revealing that her company’s $12 billion acquisition of CrownRock had been delayed due to the FTC’s demand for extensive information, including data from her personal phone.

Trump expressed surprise and disapproval at the level of government intrusion and assured Hollub and others that such scrutiny would be handled differently under his potential future administration. According to anonymous sources familiar with the conversation, Trump remarked, “Can you just wait a few months?”

These remarks, which have not been previously reported, suggest that Trump may attempt to influence the FTC, an independent regulatory body, to favor his supporters in the oil and gas sector. This comes at a time when the industry is experiencing a surge in multibillion-dollar mergers, attracting heightened scrutiny from Democratic lawmakers.

Trump has been actively courting oil and gas CEOs, previously asking top executives to contribute $1 billion to his 2024 campaign during an April dinner at his Mar-a-Lago Club. At that event, he pledged to overturn numerous environmental regulations imposed by President Biden’s administration.

In contrast, Congressional Democrats have been advocating for stricter oversight of the oil and gas industry’s consolidation activities. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer, along with 22 other Democratic senators, recently urged the FTC and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to thoroughly investigate these mergers. In a letter sent last Thursday, they called on the DOJ to “use every tool” available to combat and prosecute alleged price-fixing within the industry, arguing that such practices have contributed to rising energy costs for American families and businesses.

Source: Washington Post



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