In response to the introduction of the End Polluter Welfare Act in Congress today to roll back subsidies and prevent fossil fuel companies from taking advantage of coronavirus economic relief, Daniel Mulé, Senior Policy Advisor for Tax and Extractive Industries at Oxfam America, said:
“While Congress has tried to blunt the devastating impacts of COVID-19, fossil fuel companies have used their influence to take advantage of coronavirus relief efforts. We support the End Polluter Welfare Act, as it would stop oil, gas, and coal companies from profiting off this pandemic by closing loopholes and preventing industry handouts in bailout packages.
“This Act would also roll back the illegitimate subsidies and sector-specific tax breaks that have distorted markets and currently keep the industry on life support. The US must stop all new production of fossil fuels in order to avert climate disaster. Propping up these sectors with taxpayer money is risky, wasteful, and counterproductive to the just transition we need. Instead of throwing good money at a sector struggling before the pandemic, we should prioritize the needs of oil and gas workers and those most impacted by the current crisis, especially communities of color.
“During this pandemic, fossil fuel companies have already succeeded in rolling back environmental regulations, bending lending rules for loan programs, and taking advantage of misplaced tax breaks, all while laying off thousands of workers. Fossil fuel companies have been bailed out and propped up long enough at the expense of American taxpayers, communities and workers. It is time for Congress to roll it back.
“We thank Sens. Sanders, Merkley, Markey and Reps. Omar, Barragán, and their co-sponsors in Congress for their leadership in eliminating these harmful giveaways to fossil fuel companies, and we endorse the End Polluter Welfare Act.”