Hey all — we’re on for this morning!

We had a bunch of people jump into the doc and add some great sample messaging. Feel free to use your own though — I’ll be looking for the best finance related zinger.

***Twitterstorm starts up at 10:00am ET on Tuesday, 3/24***


Congress is currently debating a massive stimulus package in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. But instead of focusing relief on the people who need it most, Senate Republicans and the Trump Administration are preparing to funnel billions of dollars to oil, gas and coal companies. We need a just COVID-19 relief and stimulus package based on the five-principles laid out in this letter, not more unconditional handouts to big polluters and those who finance them.

Whether in the form of low-interest loans, purchases into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, royalty relief, or new tax subsidies, any additional giveaways to polluters (and the financial institutions that lend to them) should be stripped from the stimulus package. In addition, we oppose any efforts to bail out large fossil fuel corporations by allowing these companies to qualify for the $425 billion slush fund that supports an “eligible business” for loans or loan guarantees.

We’re organizing a massive #PeopleNotPolluters tweetstorm and call-in to Congress this Tuesday, March 24. Our goal is to ramp up the pressure on Members of Congress to stand strong against polluter giveaways and build momentum for a lasting, green stimulus that helps people and planet.

The Plan

Starting at 10:00am ET on Tuesday, March 24, we get as many organizations, individuals, and influencers as possible to share the #PeopleNotPolluters hashtag on social media, with messages about the need to support all workers and communities, not unconditional handouts to fossil fuel companies.

Messages should also encourage people to tag their Members of Congress in their tweets and call their Members’ offices. (Here’s a link to the social media accounts of all members).

We can also collectively amplify organizational petitions that groups have running.


A few core principles should guide our messaging:

  • We want to keep the focus on emergency response — this is a crisis and the first priority needs to be combatting COVID-19 and helping those most in need.

  • This is about supporting workers and families, including those in the fossil fuel industry — that’s why we’re pushing for direct relief instead of corporate bailouts.

  • Any public assistance should go directly to workers and communities facing layoffs, reductions in working hours, and potentially foreclosures, evictions, utility shutoffs, mounting medical bills, and other dire consequences. Public funds should not be used for assistance to corporations and billionaires.

  • This isn’t about comparing crises — COVID-19, the climate crisis, and impacts of the fossil fuel industry on vulnerable communities are all connected. This isn’t about saying one crisis is more important than another or that we should be focusing on something else besides the emergency at hand, it’s about drawing connections so we come out from this moment stronger than before.

  • We want to highlight the voices of the most vulnerable, but not speak for them — as much as possible, we should be amplifying the voices of those on the frontlines of this crisis, including Indigenous communities, people of color, low-income communities, and others who face structural oppressions that make this health crisis even more dangerous.

  • We can’t allow the fossil fuel industry to use this crisis as an opportunity to gain legal immunity. The stimulus package must not include a liability waiver, which would shield the industry from current and future lawsuits seeking financial accountability for climate damages. We must protect all communities’ access to justice.

Sample Posts

Feel free to add more in…

We can’t let the #coronavirus bailout turn into a handout for Big Oil. Money needs to go directly to workers, not the CEOs. #PeopleNotPolluters

Congress needs to bail out #PeopleNotPolluters. Now isn’t the time to be giving handouts to fossil fuel billionaires.

The fracking industry is trying to take advantage of the #coronavirus crisis to get major handouts for the industry. This bailout should go to #PeopleNotPolluters.

We can’t let the #coronavirus crisis fuel the #ClimateCrisis. Bailouts should be going to working families, not fossil fuel industry CEOs. #PeopleNotPolluters

The coal industry is using the #coronavirus to try and get out of providing treatment for the over 25,000 former miners who are suffering from black lung disease. #PeopleNotPolluters

We should bail out families, not fracking corporations. #PeopleNotPolluters

Congress needs to protect people and wildlife, not a handful of dirty industry executives. Add your voice: [link to action alert] #PeopleNotPolluters

In 2008, banks got bailed out, people got sold out. We don’t need to repeat that disastrous mistake. #NoFossilFuelBailout #PeopleNot Polluters

We can’t bail out the industries that have profited from and exploited our broken systems. #PeopleNotPolluters #NoCorporateBailout

You can’t tackle the climate crisis by bailing out fracking companies. You must demand a #FossilFuelFreeFuture #PeopleNotPolluters

This time: bail out those who are drowning, not those who keep drilling. For the health of our people and economy, support #PeopleNotPolluters

This time: save the people *and* the economy.

Don’t use #CoronaVirus to fund #ClimateCrisis. #PeopleNotPolluters

This time: save lives, not polluters.

Don’t use #CoronaVirus to fund #ClimateCrisis. #PeopleNotPolluters