Trump ‘offered to block electric car rollout’ as he asked oil bosses for $1bn

Donald Trump told oil industry executives he would dismantle Joe Biden’s pro-electric vehicle agenda as he asked for $1bn (£800m) to help return him to the White House, it has been claimed.

The Republican presidential candidate pledged to roll back the Biden administration’s environmental rules at a meeting with fossil fuel bosses last month, according to the Washington Post, and called recently introduced EV rules “ridiculous”.

Mr Trump reportedly described the proposed billion-dollar donation as a “deal” given how much oil and gas companies would save as a result of his policies.

President Biden has announced new standards on vehicle emissions that could mean zero emission vehicles making up more than half of all sales by 2032. American petrol producers have said the rules amount to an effective “gas car ban” and vigorously opposed them.

The dinner at Mr Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida was reportedly attended by the bosses of gas companies Venture Global and Cheniere Energy as well as companies including Chevron and ExxonMobil.

Electric cars have the potential to be a major battleground in November’s US elections. Democrats have spent billions to encourage EV purchases and domestic production as well as building out a charging network.

Meanwhile, Mr Trump has said that electric car mandates will “kill” America’s car making industry and warned of a “blood bath” for manufacturers if he is not returned to office.

Reversing a pro-EV push could, however, disappoint car makers such as Ford and General Motors that have pushed into battery-powered vehicles, as well as Tesla, whose chief executive, Elon Musk, has been a vocal critic of Mr Biden.

The Biden administration has also frozen permits for exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG), citing environmental concerns.

The industry has grown dramatically in recent years thanks to the shale boom. The freeze has been widely opposed by the gas industry and Republicans have tried to overturn it.

Mr Trump told gas executives that he would overturn the freeze immediately. “You’ll get it on the first day,” he reportedly said.

Oil and gas production in the US has hit all-time highs during Mr Biden’s presidency, while oil majors have made record profits, but executives have chafed at his environmental policies and pledges to transition away from fossil fuels.

Mr Trump reportedly told executives he would reverse restrictions on drilling in the Arctic and issue more licences for exploration in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

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