The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Expert contact: Lukas Ross,

Communications Contact: Erin Jensen,

Friends of the Earth Sues Treasury

Freedom of Information case seeks bailout influence-peddling from Big Oil and Wall Street giants.


Friends of the Earth is suing the Treasury Department for violation of the Freedom of Information Act. The case seeks communications between the leadership of the Treasury Department and lobbyists working on behalf of Big Oil and Wall Street. The lawsuit aims to uncover communications regarding the $500 billion corporate slush passed in March as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Friends of the Earth is being represented in the case by the public interest law firm Eubanks & Associates, PLLC.

A previous Freedom of Information request from Friends of the Earth to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, an independent agency within the Treasury, identified oil industry lobbying for stimulus loans and laxer lending standards.

"The Trump administration has been shameless in its obstruction of coronavirus oversight," said Lukas Ross, Program Manager at Friends of the Earth. "Big Oil and its Wall Street enablers all reported lobbying the Treasury Department about the implementation of the CARES Act bailout. We need to know what they said and what Steve Mnuchin agreed to give them.

"The information Friends of the Earth seeks is urgently needed to inform the public and members of Congress about how special interests are trying to influence the Treasury Department," said Nick Lawton, Senior Associate at Eubanks & Associates, PLLC. "This lawsuit aims to obtain information that is critically important as Congress debates another coronavirus relief bill.

Friends of the Earth fights for a more healthy and just world. Together we speak truth to power and expose those who endanger the health of people and the planet for corporate profit. We organize to build long-term political power and campaign to change the rules of our economic and political systems that create injustice and destroy nature.

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