Senate’s $2 Trillion Stimulus Bill Still Leaves Loophole for Fossil Fuel Executives

by Ryan Schleeter

March 25, 2020

Washington, DC — Today, the Senate will release the latest update to its $2 trillion stimulus package in response to the COVID-19 crisis and the resulting economic fallout. Senate lawmakers are expected to vote on the bill today, and it could land in the House of Representatives tomorrow.

The bill includes extensive taxpayer assistance to millions of companies and would provide one-time cash payments to the majority of citizens. Despite significant pushback from activists and progressive lawmakers, the proposal still includes billions of dollars that could be used to bail out fossil fuel executives and falls short of protecting those most vulnerable in the COVID-19 crisis.

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

“Millions of Americans were outraged at the Trump GOP’s attempts to use our tax dollars to bail out oil CEOs instead of supporting healthcare providers and working families. Senators are finally listening. We’re glad to see them abandon the idea of ‘filling up’ the Strategic Petroleum Reserve at Trump’s request [1] and embrace the idea of oversight for Mitch McConnell’s $500 billion corporate slush fund.

“But oversight is not enough. We need an explicit guarantee that not a cent of taxpayer money will go to the oil and gas executives who already reap billions in subsidies every year. If we’re going to devote $2 trillion to economic relief, it must be for those on the frontlines of the COVID-19 crisis, not for the architects of the climate crisis.

“Our tax dollars should be supporting the nurses and doctors saving lives in this pandemic, ensuring everyone has access to healthcare and testing, and keeping the lights on and food on the table. Now is the time to invest in stimulus measures that lay the foundation for a future beyond fossil fuels. Handouts to oil CEOs can’t create jobs and opportunity for millions of Americans, but a Green New Deal can.”

ENDS

Notes:

[1] https://www.greenpeace.org/usa/news/trump-takes-first-step-toward-ill-fated-oil-industry-bailout-in-response-to-covid-19-pandemic/

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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