Trump Orders Massive Oil Industry Bailout in Tweet

by Ryan Schleeter

April 21, 2020

"We must do everything we can now to ensure oil CEOs don’t escape with a golden parachute while their workers are left to foot the bill.”

Washington, DC — In response to Donald Trump’s tweet [1] instructing the Treasury and Energy Departments to formulate “a plan which will make funds available” for the oil and gas industry, Greenpeace USA Senior Climate Campaigner Jack Shapiro said:

“The oil and gas industry spent millions to elect Trump in 2016, and they’re getting exactly what they paid for. But Trump’s energy policy has never had anything to do with American workers — it’s a cover to allow his industry friends to continue profiting off the backs of vulnerable communities and future generations. Putting people and public health first means not a cent of taxpayer money should go to the corporations that created and profited from the climate crisis.

“Congress must show vision by tackling the COVID-19 crisis and oil shocks with investment in both public and planetary health. We need a massive, Green New Deal-style investment in low-carbon infrastructure to create the jobs of the future while rising to the challenge of climate change. No matter what Trump and climate deniers in Congress do, the transition from oil, gas, and coal to renewable energy is inevitable. Justice for workers and communities is not, especially if fossil fuel executives are allowed to write the rules. We must do everything we can now to ensure oil CEOs don’t escape with a golden parachute while their workers are left to foot the bill.”

Trump’s tweet today lays out in the open what his administration has been hinting at for weeks: he is ready to use federal funds — including taxpayer money — to bail out fossil fuel companies hit by a combination of market shocks, their own risky business decisions, and low demand due to COVID-19. The idea spawned from conversations between Trump and fracking CEO Harold Hamm [2], but has been politically unpopular since it was first reported in March [3].

Since then, Trump and Republicans have tried to obscure the means by which fossil fuel companies can access taxpayer funding through the CARES Act and other federal loan programs behind layers of bureaucracy. As of now, their cards are on the table.

ENDS

Notes:

[1] https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1252591306028785667?s=20

[2] https://www.greenpeace.org/usa/research/meet-the-oil-executives-visiting-the-white-house-to-discuss-relief-for-the-industry-with-trump/

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

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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