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Greenpeace USA Stages Street Theater Performance Calling For an End to Fossil Fuel Subsidies

by Ryan Schleeter

April 15, 2021

The satirical game show “The Big Oil Cash Grab” featured “fossil fuel industry CEOs” as contestants as they grabbed “taxpayer-funded handouts” from inside a cash booth near the US Capitol.

DC Big Oil Cash Grab

Greenpeace USA activists held a street theater performance demanding members of Congress endorse the End Polluter Welfare Act which was just reintroduced today and eliminate all fossil fuel subsidies via the American Jobs Plan.

© Tim Aubry / Greenpeace

Washington, DC — Greenpeace USA activists held a street theater performance demanding members of Congress endorse the End Polluter Welfare Act, which was reintroduced in the Senate today, and eliminate all fossil fuel subsidies via the American Jobs Plan.

The satirical game show “The Big Oil Cash Grab” featured “fossil fuel industry CEOs” as contestants as they grabbed “taxpayer-funded handouts” from inside a cash booth near the US Capitol.

Watch video of “The Big Oil Cash Grab” here. Professional photos are available here.

 

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A post shared by Greenpeace USA (@greenpeaceusa)

“Our federal government gives away up to $15 billion [1] in public money every year to fossil fuel corporations through tax breaks, subsidies, and handouts. These companies have benefited at the expense of the environment, our bodies, and our democracy for long enough,” said Greenpeace USA Senior Climate Campaigner John Noël.

Senate Budget Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) invited oil industry CEOs — BP America President David C. Lawler, Chevron CEO Michael Wirth, and ExxonMobil CEO Darren W. Woods — to testify at a hearing on “The Cost of Inaction on Climate Change” today. However, the executives declined.

“We’re here to call for an end to government-funded fossil fuel subsidies. Congress must shift its investment to a clean, just energy system and support communities transitioning away from oil, gas, and coal by passing the End Polluter Welfare Act,” said Greenpeace USA Climate Campaigner Charlie Jiang.

President Biden’s Made in America tax plan [2] outlines savings of “$35 billion in the coming decade” from eliminating fossil fuel corporations’ subsidies. However, a recent study cited in the plan itself reveals that fossil fuel corporations pocket roughly $62 billion per year in the United States through both direct and implicit subsidies.

Greenpeace recently released the Fossil Fuel Racism report [3] revealing how the fossil fuel industry contributes to public health hazards resulting in the death of hundreds of thousands of people in the United States each year and disproportionately endangering Black, Brown, Indigenous, and poor communities.

ENDS

Notes:

[1] Fossil Fuel Subsidies: A Closer Look at Tax Breaks and Societal Costs

[2] Made in America Tax Plan

[3] Greenpeace USA Fossil Fuel Racism Report

Photos from the “Big Oil Cash Grab” demonstration will be available later today HERE.

Contacts: 

Crystal Mojica, Senior Communications Specialist, [email protected], 646-530-1581

Ryan Schleeter, Senior Communications Specialist, [email protected], 415-342-2386

Ryan Schleeter

By Ryan Schleeter

Ryan Schleeter is a senior communications specialist with Greenpeace USA covering climate and energy. His writing has appeared in National Geographic, Grist, GreenBiz, EcoWatch, and more. Find him on Twitter @ryschlee.

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