Who really won the 2016 election? If you ask the Center for American Progress, the answer is Exxon Mobil.
The progressive think tank released a report showing just how profitable the Donald Trump administration could be for the oil giant.
For starters, five of Trump's nominees for Cabinet positions have either worked for Exxon or received financial contributions from the company.
If some or all of those nominations are approved by the Senate, those pro-oil politicians will have sway over laws and regulations that impact Exxon.
Take Trump's pick for secretary of state, for example. As Exxon's ex-CEO, Rex Tillerson has deep ties to Russia. If he and other Cabinet members support Trump in lifting sanctions against Russia, Exxon could profit from an existing $500 billion deal with the country.
Cabinet members could also pressure Trump to issue permits for cross-border pipelines — allowing projects like the Keystone XL pipeline to continue.
Weakening environmental protections could also help Exxon. During his career, Scott Pruitt filed lawsuits against federal environmental protections. As Oklahoma's attorney general, he defended Exxon against allegations it funded fake climate science studies. Pruitt is on deck to be the Environmental Protection Agency administrator.
Exxon's funding of questionable climate change studies has been met with calls for an investigation by the Department of Justice. If Jeff Sessions is approved for his role as attorney general, that investigation may never happen.
As secretary of the interior, Ryan Zinke could lower royalty rates for Exxon to fuel production on federal lands, something he's already done while in Congress. It's worth noting Zinke received more than $60,000 from Exxon's political action committee in his 2015 congressional race.
Exxon could also win big if federal funding for alternative energy is slashed. The Center for American Progress notes that under Rick Perry's guidance, the Department of Energy could roadblock funding for things like electric cars.
The report also suggests the Trump administration could drive up prices in oil and natural gas, both of which could be very profitable for Exxon.
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