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Treasury Department Considering Loans for Flailing Oil Executives

by Ryan Schleeter

April 23, 2020

"Nurses need personal protective equipment. Essential workers need hazard pay. Millions of families need help putting food on the table. But Trump and Mnuchin are busy inventing loopholes for their fossil fuel cronies."

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is reportedly considering forming a federal loan program for oil companies struggling from a combination of plummeting demand, the COVID-19 pandemic, and their own short-sighted business practices. He also clarified that some companies may already be able to access funding (at the expense of the American taxpayer) via the Federal Reserve’s lending program for small businesses.

In response, Greenpeace USA Senior Climate Campaigner John Noël said:

“This is yet another dangerous step towards a full-fledged oil industry bailout. The Trump administration’s priorities in the midst of a monumental health crisis are completely misaligned with what our country needs. Nurses need personal protective equipment. Essential workers need hazard pay. Millions of families need help putting food on the table. But Trump and Mnuchin are busy inventing loopholes for their fossil fuel cronies.

“After operating in the shadows trying — and mostly failing — to get their hands on the taxpayer-funded stimulus dollars intended to support working families, oil executives have now laid their cards on the table. There’s no more hiding their agenda of greed and self-service as they clamor for handouts while their own workers suffer in a pandemic. Instead of a no-strings-attached bailout for the most polluting industry in history, we need a just transition away from fossil fuels. With oil prices at a historic low, now is the time to invest in job retraining opportunities, guarantee pensions, benefits, and wage insurance, and strengthen unions for the clean, just economy of the future.”

ENDS

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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