GOP Senators push Fed for Big Oil bailout

New request confirms danger of oil and gas “junk” debt buying-spree

WASHINGTON– Eleven Senate Republicans released a letter today, calling for greater availability of stimulus funds for oil and gas companies. The Senators are specifically demanding that Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and Federal Reserve Chair Powell eliminate the credit requirements for companies whose debt was recently downgraded to “junk.”

A recent report from Friends of the Earth highlights how a weakening of the Fed’s lending standards could be a backdoor vehicle for a Big Oil bailout.

One company that stands to benefit from the Senators’ request is oil giant Occidental Petroleum, whose debt was downgraded too soon to qualify for major Fed lending programs. Occidental’s CEO attended a recent White House summit on energy issues and contributed over $233,000 in the last electoral cycle, overwhelmingly to Republicans.

Friends of the Earth senior policy analyst Lukas Ross issued the following response:

This is a Republican-sponsored blueprint for a Big Oil bailout, plain and simple. We need economic relief and a just transition for fossil fuel workers through direct aid, not a lifeline for fossil fuel executives. Companies like Occidental do not deserve a bailout, workers and communities on the frontlines of the crisis do.

Expert contact: Lukas Ross, (202) 222-0724, lross@foe.org
Communications contact: Erin Jensen, (202) 222-0722, ejensen@foe.org

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