Oil execs, already wary of Biden, see path to victory for Trump following debate

By Ben Lefebvre | 07/01/2024 06:42 AM EDT

“I think it will convince folks Trump really has a path to win,” one industry insider says.

Donald Trump and Joe Biden.

President Joe Biden walking off the stage after debating former President Donald Trump in Atlanta on Thursday night. Gerald Herbert/AP

Donald Trump’s debate performance Thursday convinced oil executives he will beat President Joe Biden in November, but they worry about what that could mean for their industry and their wallets.

Biden’s disastrous performance alarmed industry officials who were already troubled by what they argue is his anti-fossil-fuel agenda, including his administration’s recent liquefied natural gas pause and drilling restrictions.

Oil executives were reassured that the former president will generally be supportive of their industry if he returns to the White House, but his comments on trade and immigration during the debate caused some anxiety. Trump stuck by his promise to slap new tariffs on imported goods, a move that would raise costs for oil companies, and his threats to curtail immigration could make things tougher for an industry already struggling to find employees.


And an emboldened Trump might attract more contributions from an industry he’s tapped for money before and that isexpecting to take a direct hand in guiding his administration’s policies in a potential second term.