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President Donald Trump speaks as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency Andrew Wheeler, Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Secretary of Labor Gene Scalia listen during a cabinet meeting at the White House on October 21, 2019 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

'Moving to Rob Us Blind in Broad Daylight'? Trump to Hold In-Person Meeting With Big Oil CEOs to Discuss Coronavirus Relief

"Right now money is needed for people's health, direct relief, and making sure we have a resilient future—not bolstering the fossil fuel industry."

President Donald Trump on Friday is reportedly set to hold an in-person White House meeting with top executives from some of the largest fossil fuel companies in the world—including Exxon Mobil, Chevron, and Continental Resources—to discuss relief measures for the industry as the coronavirus pandemic tanks global oil demand.

"Other chief executives set to attend Friday's meeting include Vicki Hollub of Occidental Petroleum Corp., David Hager of Devon Energy Corp., Greg Garland of Phillips 66, and Kelcy Warren of Energy Transfer," according to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported on the planned meeting Wednesday afternoon.

"Oil billionaires are moving to rob us blind in broad daylight."
—Greenpeace USA

The meeting will come just over a week after Trump hosted a conference call with Wall Street and hedge fund titans.

"Mr. Trump is unlikely to endorse direct federal aid or market interventions during Friday's meeting," the Journal reported, "but may consider smaller actions including a waiver of a law that requires American vessels be used to transport goods, including oil, between U.S. ports. The president wants to show support, even if policy opinions are limited for now."

Environmentalists warned in response to the scheduled meeting that the Trump administration is planning, in plain sight, to push a massive bailout for the oil and gas industry as the coronavirus crisis intensifies.

"Oil billionaires are moving to rob us blind in broad daylight," tweeted Greenpeace USA.

350.org urged the U.S. public to "stay vigilant" in resisting a bailout for fossil fuel giants.

"Right now money is needed for people's health, direct relief, and making sure we have a resilient future—not bolstering the fossil fuel industry," the group tweeted.

Under pressure from the fossil fuel industry, Trump's Environmental Protection Agency—headed by former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler—announced last Friday that it will not be enforcing many major oil and gas regulations, a move critics condemned as a "green light to pollute with impunity."

"Democrats won't aggressively push for climate-friendly COVID relief policies because they're scared they'll be accused of taking advantage of a crisis," tweeted climate writer Emily Atkin, author of the "HEATED" newsletter. "The oil and gas industry and Republicans do not have this fear. That's why they're winning."


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