Trump touts U.S. energy might in Texas, raises money for campaign

Politics

U.S. President Donald Trump delivers a speech during a tour of the Double Eagle Energy Oil Rig in Midland, Texas, U.S., July 29, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

ODESSA, Texas (News Nation/KMID) — U.S. President Donald Trump raised $7 million in campaign contributions on Wednesday on a visit to Texas to promote energy policies he hopes will show a stark contrast to Democratic rival Joe Biden.

Trump’s 16th trip to Texas as president comes at a time when a number of opinion polls show him in a close race with Biden in Texas, a state that has voted Republican in presidential campaigns for the last three decades.

Trump won the state by 9 percentage points over Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016. Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz has been sounding the alarm about fears Democrats could win Texas in the Nov. 3 election.

At a pair of events in Odessa, Texas, Trump raised $7 million for Trump Victory, a fund-raising committee that benefits his re-election campaign, the Republican National Committee and state parties.

Afterward, he traveled to nearby Midland, Texas, to visit Double Eagle Energy, a shale oil and gas company backed by private equity firm Apollo Global Management.

Trump’s tax and regulation cuts have benefited the energy industry and pumped up U.S. production of oil and natural gas. Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, oil prices were beginning to drop. The market, however, took another hit during the pandemic as prices hit historic lows in April and even trended into the negative.

Despite that outlook, the market has made steady gains. As of Wednesday, the West Texas Index was just above $41 per barrel.

On the campaign trail, the president is trying to show that Biden would adopt green policies promoted by liberal Democratic lawmakers that would roll back fossil fuel production at the cost of jobs and U.S. economic growth.

Trump arrived in Texas as many oil firms are gearing up to report their worst quarterly results in years. Oilfield services companies Halliburton and Schlumberger NV posted multi-billion-dollar losses for their June quarters.

Exxon and Chevron both expected to report large losses on Friday. Many of the smaller energy companies received federal pandemic bailout money, according to a Federal Reserve Bank survey.

Nearly half of about 160 oil and gas firms polled said they had applied for paycheck protection program money and 10% sought Small Business Administration economic injury disaster loans. Nearly 90% said they had received federal aid and 4% were waiting on a decision when polled.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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