Recording Reveals Oil Industry Execs Laughing at Trump Access
Date Written: 23/03/2019
Year Published: 2019
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX23597
A 2017 recording of Independent Petroleum Association of America executives reveals them revelling in their access to high levels of government. Since then many environmental protections have been rescinded.
The recording gives a rare look behind the curtain of an influential oil industry lobbying group that spends more than $1 million per year to push its agenda in Congress and federal regulatory agencies. The previous eight years had been dispiriting for the industry: As IPAA vice president Jeff Eshelman told the group, it had seemed as though the Obama administration and environmental groups had put together "their target list of everything that they wanted done to shut down the oil and gas industry." But now, the oil executives were almost giddy at the prospect of high-level executive branch access of the sort they hadnt enjoyed since Dick Cheney, a fellow oilman, was vice president.
"It's really a new thing for us," said Barry Russell, the associations CEO, boasting of his meetings with Environmental Protection Agency chief at the time, Scott Pruitt, and the then-Interior Secretary, Ryan Zinke. "For example, next week Im invited to the White House to talk about tax code. Last week we were talking to Secretary Pruitt, and in about two weeks we have a meeting with Secretary Zinke. So we have unprecedented access to people that are in these positions who are trying to help us, which is great."