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A recent shift in the Presidential campaign of Republican nominee Donald Trump could seal his choice of running mate and is likely predicated on securing the support of powerful oil and gas executives with a presence in North America. While Trump needs to load up on campaign cash, the energy industry is seeking an injection of confidence in federal policy. Capex among drillers has withered significantly and crude oil production growth in the US risks stalling out under an environmentalist bend coming from within the US Interior Department.

The White House has cracked down on the availability of federal leases for oil and gas production and raising costs associated with royalties and acreage. As part of a closed-door meeting with big oil executives and representatives last week, Trump extended several guarantees that would be addressed on “day one” of his second Presidential term if increased fundraising from the energy industry were to propel him into the Oval Office. As such, elevated crude prices could soon become a more prominent fixture within the narratives surrounding November’s election.

Related ETF: Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLE)

With the US’s 2024 Presidential Election now less than six months away, the lineup of last weekend’s campaign events was headlined by presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump’s oceanfront rally on the beach in Wildwood, New Jersey. Despite its presence in a deep blue state that incumbent President Biden won in 2020 by a margin of almost 16 percentage points, the event drew tens of thousands of attendees and featured a somewhat peculiar opening act for Trump. North Dakota Governor and former Presidential candidate Doug Burgum was the first speaker to emerge from Trump’s motorcade, given the duty of rallying the crowd in what seemed like an audition for the highly coveted VP spot. In fact, during the former President’s speech, he took time to praise Burgum, which was followed up by Trump stating, “So, get ready for something, okay? Just get ready,” perhaps alluding to a coming announcement about Burgum’s future in the campaign.

Despite endorsing Trump shortly after shutting down his own bid for the Oval Office last December, Burgum was not at the top of many speculators’ prospective VP lists. Until May 7, he wasn’t even considered a contender for Trump’s VP pick on popular political betting site PredictIt. Since then, however, he has shot to second place in the betting odds, trailing only Senator Tim Scott (R-SC). Vice Presidential candidates are usually chosen in an effort to court certain voter bases or, perhaps in this case, donors. Burgum as the potential VP nominee does not seem to appeal to any specific demographic outside of Trump’s core voter base, nor does he govern within or adjacent to a key battleground state in this year’s campaign cycle (barring Minnesota, which would seem to be a long shot for the Trump campaign). Instead, Burgum comes from a state that has heavily embraced its shale industry, capitalizing on the significant portion of the Bakken shale basin that lies within North Dakota’s borders. In lauding Burgum on Saturday, Trump said that the Governor “probably knows more about energy than anybody I know,” which may have tipped his hand in regard to Burgum’s sudden appearance as a front-runner in the VP race.

Just last week, headlines broke that Trump had held a closed-door meeting with disconcerted American oil executives and energy giant representatives, pitching them on a massive fundraise for his campaign. The Washington Post reports that one…

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