The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Collin Rees, 308-293-3159,

Steny Hoyer Shills for Big Oil as HEROES Acts Shuns Safeguards Against a Fossil Fuel Bailout


Today, Democratic House leadership released the 1,800-page HEROES Act, the first proposal for the next round of COVID-19 stimulus efforts. Despite calling for over $3 trillion in relief funds, the draft bill does not contain protections to prevent heavily indebted fossil fuel companies from accessing this money.

Meanwhile, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told the media he supports a multibillion-dollar bailout of the oil and gas industry through Strategic Petroleum Reserve oil purchases, comparing this to ensuring hospitals have a ready supply of personal protective equipment. In response, Collin Rees, Senior Campaigner with Oil Change International, released the following statement:

"Steny Hoyer's crass comments show why the fossil fuel industry continues to clamor for a bailout to pay off its past bad debts--because leaders like Rep. Hoyer refuse to rule it out. Equating a bailout for Big Oil with basic protections for nurses and healthcare workers in a pandemic is completely egregious.

"House leadership must stand up for working people without throwing a lifeline to fossil fuel billionaires. That means including the provisions of the ReWIND Act in the next iteration of the HEROES Act and continuing to fight against Big Oil bailouts in future stimulus packages.

"The HEROES Act contains important provisions to aid frontline and essential workers, as well as a critical prohibition against utility shutoffs during the COVID-19 pandemic. These are key pieces of a humane response to deliver urgently needed aid to working people, but they can't come at the expense of locking in climate catastrophe and bailing out fossil fuel billionaires and their Wall Street friends. It's time to put people over polluters once and for all."

Oil Change International is a research, communications, and advocacy organization focused on exposing the true costs of fossil fuels and facilitating the ongoing transition to clean energy.

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