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. 


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 TrumpBiden campaign slams Facebook after thousands of ads blocked by platform's pre-election blackout Mnuchin says he learned of Pelosi's letter to him about stimulus talks 'in the press' Harris to travel to Texas Friday after polls show tie between Trump, Biden 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 PruittOVERNIGHT ENERGY: EPA eases permitting for modifications to polluting facilities | Rocky Mountain National Park closed due to expanding Colorado wildfire | Trump order strips workplace protections from civil servants EPA eases permitting for modifications to polluting facilities Overnight Energy: Barrett punts on climate, oil industry recusals | Ex-EPA official claims retaliation in lawsuit | Dems seek to uphold ruling ousting Pendley 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.