Since the beginning of this pandemic we’ve seen Congress repeatedly bail out fossil fuel executives and Wall Street investors instead of providing sorely needed financial relief for millions across the country impacted by this crisis. Sadly, this kind of financial favoritism is nothing new.

For decades, Congress has authorized billions in fossil fuel subsidies to keep the industry afloat. The U.S. public currently foots the bill for about $15 billion in direct federal subsidies annually. That’s why Representatives Ilhan Omar and Nanette Barragán and Senators Bernie Sanders, Jeff Merkley and Ed Markey have introduced the End Polluter Welfare Act (EPWA)¹ to eliminate corporate handouts to fossil fuel polluters and save the public up to $150 billion in fossil fuel subsidies over the next ten years.

Tell your Members of Congress to co-sponsor the End Polluter Welfare Act to put workers and communities first and accelerate the transition to a green and just future.

It’s long past time we said ‘no more’ to subsidizing polluters’ exploitation of workers, communities, and our environment. The End Polluter Welfare Act (EPWA) would prevent fossil fuel companies from taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic by restricting access to relief funds that should go to those struggling due to this crisis. The EPWA would close dozens of tax loopholes and subsidies benefiting the fossil fuel industry and special interests in the U.S. and overseas, and would prohibit publicly-funded fossil fuel research and development.

For years, the fossil fuel industry has jeopardized the health of fenceline communities with its drills, mines, and pipelines. These are the same Black, Brown, Indigenous, and working-class communities that are being hit hardest by the COVID-19 crisis today. Often overlooked are the tens of thousands of fossil fuel workers whose years of working within close proximity to coal has caused chronic respiratory ailments. The EPWA would ensure funding for their continued medical care under the Black Lung Disability Fund — a downpayment toward ensuring we protect all workers along the way to a world beyond fossil fuels.

We have an opportunity to emerge from this crisis stronger than ever and move towards the green and just future that we know we need. The science is all too clear: we must move off of fossil fuels to prevent catastrophic climate change. Fossil fuel corporations are making billions in profits annually from their polluting exploits. Congress has a fiscal and moral responsibility to stop diverting public dollars to helping fossil fuel companies profit off of destroying our planet and endangering us all.

Let your voice be heard: tell your Members of Congress to co-sponsor the End Polluter Welfare Act to end fossil fuel corporate handouts.

Thank you,

Charlie Jiang
Climate Campaigner, Greenpeace USA


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