COVID-19 has upended life as we know it around the world. Thousands of people across the U.S. are getting sick, millions have lost their jobs, their healthcare, and their income. We are in a crisis. And in the middle of this crisis, oil, gas, coal, petrochemical, and other polluting industries are using the pandemic as an excuse to call for loosening restrictions that limit emissions from power plants. These regulations keep polluters in check, and any rollbacks would put our public health at risk. Stripping away critical environmental protections will not aid our efforts to recover from COVID-19. We must speak up and tell our members of Congress that our public health should not be sacrificed for polluter profits.
The federal government has the ability and the means to support every American struggling to cope with this crisis, but the administration is acting as if its only concern is the profits of the fossil fuel industry. COVID-19 is a crisis that demands decisive and compassionate action. Congress must guarantee access to clean, safe water; prevent power utility shutoffs; and help communities’ efforts to fight air, climate, and water pollution
Instead, the administration is taking steps to further entrench the world’s most destructive industry – which is responsible for the very air pollution that makes COVID-19 even more deadly for communities in proximity to industry operations. In times like these, we need the government to protect our public health and our families, not the polluters that are worsening this crisis. Despite this need, some lawmakers are pushing to shield corporations from their legal responsibilities even if they force people to return to work during the pandemic.
The fossil fuel industry has untold influence in Washington – and we have you. Together, we can protect our public health by telling our members of Congress that bailouts for the fossil fuel industry are unacceptable. We need swift action to address the COVID-19 crisis, and to uplift the message that it’s we, the people, who need help – not polluters.