WASHINGTON - U.S. Congress is currently weighing a number of measures to address the economic impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). These include providing funds to businesses in various industries.
Emma Searson, director of Environment America's 100% Renewable Campaign, issued the following statement on these considerations:
“Congress is rushing to spend hundreds of billions of dollars to bail out industries affected by the measures being taken to stem the spread and severity of the coronavirus. But in putting out one fire, our leaders must not pour gasoline on another -- namely, global warming.
“Taxpayer dollars should not be spent bailing out industries that are accelerating climate change. Any bailout funding must require industries to reduce their carbon emissions and other pollution. Congress should:
Refuse to bail out the oil and gas industry, which contributes far more than any other to global warming.
Only offer bailout funding to industries, such as the airline and cruise ship industries, that contribute to global warming or dirty our air and water if they commit to clean up their practices and become environmental protectors, not polluters.
“This is an unprecedented and difficult moment in American history, but we cannot lose sight of the not-so-long-term. If we require industries -- especially those receiving government bailouts -- to clean up their act, we will come back from this crisis with a more sustainable economy and a healthier environment for all Americans.”
“Our message is simple: Want a bailout? Don’t pollute.”