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.
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 Garcia (D-Texas), Michael McCaul (R-Texas), Al Green (D-Texas), Brian Babin (R-Texas), Kendra Horn (D-Okla.), and Marc Veasey (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.