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Bipartisan lawmakers urge assistance for oil and gas workers

Bipartisan lawmakers urge assistance for oil and gas workers

A bipartisan group of lawmakers wrote to congressional leadership asking for assistance for oil and gas industry workers as oil prices have plunged amid the coronavirus pandemic and international disputes. 

“We write to ask you to help address the unique challenges facing the people who work in the U.S. oil and gas sector,” said the letter, which was signed by seven Democrats and two Republicans. 

“We know from previous economic aid efforts that any COVID-19 relief package must protect all hard-working Americans. The effects of COVID-19 will be felt across the economy,” it continued. 

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The lawmakers wrote that there have been layoffs in recent weeks linked to the decreasing fuel prices. A Texas oil regulator recently told Bloomberg that tens of thousands of people in the state were being laid off as drilling rigs close down.

“As various sector-specific proposals are considered to address the impacts of COVID-19, this sector and the people who work in it must be taken into account,” the legislators wrote. 

The letter was signed by Reps. Lizzie Fletcher (D-Texas), Xochitl Torres Small (D-N.M.), Vicente Gonzalez (D-Texas), Sylvia GarciaSylvia GarciaTexas social workers drop nondiscrimination rules for LGBTQ, disabilities Hispanic Caucus asks for Department of Labor meeting on COVID in meatpacking plants Texas Democrat proposes legislation requiring masks in federal facilities MORE (D-Texas), Michael McCaulMichael Thomas McCaulBiden endorses Texas Democratic House candidate Julie Oliver Warren, Porter to headline progressive fundraiser supporting seven swing state candidates Bipartisan action needed to counter Chinese influence MORE (R-Texas), Al GreenAlexander (Al) N. GreenRemoving slurs, bigotry from places on our maps paves the way to remove them from all aspects of our lives Safeguarding US elections by sanctioning Russian sovereign debt The Memo: Trump furor stokes fears of unrest MORE (D-Texas), Brian Babin (R-Texas), Kendra HornKendra Suzanne HornBiden's oil stance jars Democrats in tough races Biden: 'I would transition from the oil industry' Energized by polls, House Democrats push deeper into GOP territory MORE (D-Okla.), and Marc VeaseyMarc Allison VeaseyJoaquin Castro questions whether postal workers broke federal law by hiding mail Chinese tech giants caught up in rising US-China tensions House members race to prepare for first-ever remote votes MORE (D-Texas.)

It comes as Congress weighs certain relief for oil and gas companies.

The Energy Department has asked Congress for $3 billion with which to purchase oil to be stored in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.