President Donald Trump praised ExxonMobil on Monday for the oil giant’s announcement that it would continue a multi-billion dollar initiative to expand its presence in the Gulf Of Mexico.
The President’s statement came two hours after he was scheduled to meet with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, formerly the company’s CEO, and an hour after Exxon’s current CEO announced the expansion at an energy conference.
Both the company and the White House specified that the expansion in the Gulf of Mexico began in 2013, during the Obama administration.
“President Donald J. Trump today congratulated Exxon Mobil Corporation on its ambitious $20 billion investment program that is creating more than 45,000 construction and manufacturing jobs in the United States Gulf Coast region,” a laudatory statement from the White House read Wednesday afternoon.
Shortly before the White House’s release, according to the company’s website, ExxonMobil put out its own statement on the expansion.
Neither the White House nor ExxonMobil immediately responded to TPM’s request for comment, but White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the White House had been in touch with the oil giant.
“Exxon made it clear to the White House and to the President that because of his policies that they continue to expand their investment,” he told reporters Monday afternoon. “It is information that has been provided to us by Exxon about the number of jobs and investments in America that we go off.”
In fact, one paragraph in both statements – from Exxon and from the White House – is nearly identical. The latter spelled out “U.S.” and removed “expansion” from the phrase “Growing the Gulf expansion program,” from the company’s statement, printed below:
“ExxonMobil is strategically investing in new refining and chemical-manufacturing projects in the U.S. Gulf Coast region to expand its manufacturing and export capacity. The company’s Growing the Gulf expansion program, consists of 11 major chemical, refining, lubricant and liquefied natural gas projects at proposed new and existing facilities along the Texas and Louisiana coasts. Investments began in 2013 and are expected to continue through at least 2022.”
According to a schedule emailed to reporters late Sunday night, Trump was scheduled to meet with Secretary of State Tillerson, who left his job as Exxon’s CEO to join Trump’s Cabinet, at 1:35 p.m. According to an agenda posted online by CERAWeek, the energy conference at which the announcement was made, Exxon CEO was scheduled to speak at 2:10 p.m. ET.
Starting at 4:19 p.m. ET, Trump congratulated the company to his 26 million Twitter followers:
45,000 construction & manufacturing jobs in the U.S. Gulf Coast region. $20 billion investment. We are already winning again, America!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 6, 2017