Fossil fuel companies have gotten at least $50 million in coronavirus aid: report

Fossil fuel companies have gotten at least $50 million in coronavirus aid: report
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Fossil fuel companies have received more than $50 million in federal coronavirus relief, according to research by The Guardian and investigative group Documented. 

Looking at news reports and securities filings, the review found that three coal mining companies were getting $28 million, and an additional $22 million is going to companies that provide oil and gas services equipment and those that work with drillers and coal miners. 

The findings follow changes made Thursday to a Federal Reserve lending program that have made it easier for the oil and gas industry to acquire government financing during the pandemic. 

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The new guidelines loosened restrictions on borrowing for companies with high levels of debt and allowed them to use loans to refinance existing debts.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpMulvaney: 'We've overreacted a little bit' to coronavirus Former CBS News president: Most major cable news outlets 'unrelentingly liberal' in 'fear and loathing' of Trump An old man like me should be made more vulnerable to death by COVID-19 MORE also said Wednesday that assistance for the oil industry would be coming soon, saying, “We're not gonna let our oil companies go and get in trouble.”

Assistance for the fossil fuel industry has met opposition from Democrats and environmentalists, however, who argue that the government should not be helping polluting companies. 

The Guardian and Documented reported Friday that coal mining company Rhino Resources, which has ties to David Zatezalo, who leads the Mine Safety and Health Administration, would receive $10 million and that coal company Ramaco Resources is getting $8.4 million. 

E&E News had previously reported that coal mining company Hallador Energy Co., which has ties to former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittPelosi hammers Pompeo, Trump: 'Scandalous' to dismiss IGs EPA emails reveal talks between Trump officials, chemical group before 2017 settlement Fossil fuel companies have gotten at least million in coronavirus aid: report MORE, got a $10 million loan. 

“The federal money Congress appropriated should be going to help small businesses and frontline workers struggling as a result of the pandemic, not the corporate polluters whose struggles are a result of failing business practices and existed long before Covid-19 entered the public lexicon,” Sierra Club legislative director Melinda Pierce told The Guardian.