In response to the introduction of the Resources for Workforce Investment, Not Drilling (ReWIND) Act in Congress today to prevent fossil fuel companies from taking advantage of coronavirus economic relief, Fatema Sumar, Vice President of Global Programs at Oxfam America, said:
“In the face of unabashed attempts by the oil and gas industry to opportunistically take advantage of coronavirus relief efforts, the ReWIND Act is a necessary bulwark to ensure that relief does not prioritize this sector at the expense of taxpayers and the millions of people suddenly out of work, scrambling to put food on the table and pay the rent, who desperately need relief.
“Propping up fossil fuel companies – which already enjoy hefty subsidies and significant tax breaks, with little oversight and accountability, while also majorly contributing to climate change – is absolutely unacceptable. Instead, coronavirus relief should focus on what people need in this pandemic, including potential retraining for the 51,000 oil sector workers who lost their jobs in March as well as protections for other workers threatened by the economic crisis.
“We applaud the leadership of Sen. Merkley, Reps. Barragán, Omar, Huffman, and Jayapal and their many co-sponsors in Congress to ensure that fossil fuel companies and executives that hold the ear of government are not granted unnecessary bailouts, regulatory rollbacks, or access to US natural resources on the cheap.
“The ReWIND Act is the right start for building an ambitious, sustainable, and inclusive economic recovery that places workers and people over the profits of a politically-entrenched industry.”