Senate Republicans’ Rushed Stimulus Proposal Has a $150 Billion Loophole for Oil and Gas Companies

by Ryan Schleeter

March 20, 2020

Washington, DC — Today, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced he intends to push a new, trillion-dollar stimulus package to the Senate floor by Monday. The package includes designated assistance for the airline industry and small business owners, as well as $150 billion in loans and loan guarantees for “other eligible businesses.”

That vaguely defined $150 billion would be allocated at Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s discretion, leaving a wide berth for fossil fuel companies to make a case for unwarranted government handouts.

In response, Greenpeace USA Senior Climate Campaigner Jack Shapiro said:

“We have a choice to bail out the past or build the future. We cannot let our response in this moment be driven by corporations looking to exploit a crisis for their own gain instead of supporting working families. Fossil fuel CEOs and corporate elites are already trying to use the COVID-19 pandemic to line their pockets and entrench the status quo. The Senate must close this $150 billion loophole and ensure that not a dime of taxpayer money goes to the oil and gas executives who created and profited from the climate crisis.

“Fracking billionaires and coal companies who were struggling financially well before this crisis are already banging down Trump’s door for handouts, which would further worsen the climate emergency and deepen inequality. Our tax dollars should go to supporting struggling families and working people, not bailing out big corporations.”

Of note, fracking billionaire Harold Hamm has already reached out privately to the Trump administration to advocate aid for the shale industry after he personally lost billions in last week’s market turmoil [1]. Earlier today, coal lobbyists submitted a similar plea to Congress [2].

ENDS

Notes:

[1] https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/03/10/trump-oil-bailout/

[2] https://www.eenews.net/energywire/2020/03/20/stories/1062650529

Contact: Ryan Schleeter, Senior Communications Specialist, Greenpeace USA: +1 (415) 342-2386, [email protected]

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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