Oil industry workers split between Trump
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[October 25, 2016]
By Grant Smith
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. oil and gas
industry workers have contributed only slightly more money to the
campaign of Democrat Hillary Clinton than to Republican Donald Trump
since the two clinched their parties' nominations for the White House,
according to Reuters' review of federal disclosures.
The nearly even support suggests ambivalence in the industry between two
rivals who have put forward wildly different energy visions. Trump calls
for a drastic reduction in regulations to bolster drilling, while
Clinton advocates tougher environmental protections and more renewables.
Employees in the industry gave Clinton $114,141 and Trump $99,302 since
July 1, Reuters found in reviewing individual campaign contributions
exceeding $200 and donations funneled through their joint fundraising
committees. Both were officially nominated by their parties in mid-July.
Several oil and gas industry employees reached by Reuters said they did
not donate just because of the candidates' energy policies. Most
requested anonymity, citing the sensitivity of the election.
"I am moved by the disturbing nature of what I see in Trump's vision for
America on trade, the economy and national security," said American Gas
Association head Dave McCurdy, who has contributed to Clinton's
He added, however, that he agreed with Clinton on reducing carbon
dioxide emissions blamed for climate change and felt natural gas would
play a role in that effort.
The association has not endorsed a candidate.
Continental Resources Inc Chief Executive Officer Harold Hamm, who has
contributed repeatedly to Trump's campaign, has argued in favor of the
candidate's energy policies. Hamm has said bolstering U.S. drilling
would reduce dependence on Middle East oil, whose proceeds he says
finance terrorist attacks.
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Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump arrives for a
campaign rally in Naples, Florida, U.S. October 23, 2016.
A Continental official did not respond to a request for comment from
An energy lobbyist based in Washington said he understood the
industry's ambivalence. "Clinton is pro-regulation, which hurts," he
said, requesting anonymity. "And Trump has no record in the
industry, so there's no evidence he understands the issues."
Clinton had far exceeded Trump in campaign contributions from
industry employees during the primaries, but donations to the
Republican side of the ledger were split among a much larger number
of candidates than on the Democratic side.
During the Republican primaries, the industry had taken an early
liking to former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, giving him more than all
his rivals combined, before he dropped out of the race in February.
(Additional reporting and writing by Richard Valdmanis; Editing by
Lisa Von Ahn)
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