For Immediate Release
After a night of marathon talks, Trump and Senate negotiators appear to have removed from the coronavirus relief bill a controversial plan to spend billions of dollars to buy oil to store in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
But other, much larger handouts for billionaires, including for fossil fuel billionaires, remain.
In response, Food & Water Action Policy Director Mitch Jones released the following statement:
“With millions of Americans sacrificing to save lives and stop the pandemic, Trump and his enablers in Congress secretly hammered out a bailout scheme that could shovel billions of taxpayer dollars to the fossil fuel industry.
“Every dollar we give away to fossil fuel billionaires is a dollar we’re taking away from doctors and nurses to buy masks and ventilators. People will suffer while the government gives handouts to fossil fuel corporations and Wall Street speculators.
“This virtually unregulated slush fund could even be used by members of the giant oil and gas cartel to buy out their smaller competitors. Tax dollars shouldn’t be used to let giant corporations consolidate power to continue to destroy our climate.
“We need to fight to block oil and gas companies from any slush fund designed to assist companies hard-hit by this crisis. These dirty energy corporations amassed staggering amounts of corporate debt for the past decade; it is not the responsibility of the government to bail out billionaire CEOs for their disastrous business decisions. Our first priorities should be rescuing workers and their families, protecting first responders, and buying emergency medical equipment -- not propping up failed fossil fuel corporations at the expense of ordinary Americans.
“The most effective course of action right now would be a federal buyout of major fossil fuel companies, with a plan to wind down their operations and create new ventures that would create millions of good green jobs and help combat the climate crisis. We need a fossil fuel buyout, not a bailout.”