The fossil fuel industry is profiteering from the coronavirus pandemic. We’re compiling a list of the ways that oil, gas, and coal companies are trying to profit from the coronavirus pandemic and government bailouts.

Fact #1

The Trump Administration denied Endangered Species Act protection for the Bi-state greater sage grouse that’s threatened by oil and gas development. 

Fact #2

Trump floated the idea of tariffs on foreign oil to boost U.S. oil prices, before walking it back. 

Fact #3

Trump replaced the independent watchdog overseeing coronavirus stimulus funds, likely making it easier for fossil fuel companies to profit off the program.

Fact #4

A group of 17 Republican senators signed onto a letter to the Fed asking it to include coal companies from the $454 billion corporate loan program

Fact #5

The EPA finalized a rule lowering emissions standards for coal plants in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.  

Fact #6

The BLM ignored 42,000 public comments and released a final plan to open 1.7 million acres of Colorado public lands to fossil fuel extraction.

Fact #7

The BLM issued a new coal lease in Colorado that contained 9.54 million tons of recoverable coal.  

Fact #8

A dirty utility front group is petitioning FERC to assume oversight of net metering so they can stop states from incentivizing families and businesses to go solar.

Fact #9

The Trump Administration is fast-tracking the border wall by waiving compliance with over a dozen different environmental laws. 

Fact #10

The EPA gutted an Obama-era mercury pollution rule that has saved as many as 17,000 lives a year and prevented thousands of illnesses. 

Fact #11

In April, at the height of the pandemic, the BLM ran a 15-day public comment period on new oil and gas leases in Montana and North Dakota

Fact #12

Corporations are requesting special extensions for new fossil fuel projects, like a massive gas export terminal project in Cameron and Calcasieu Parishes, Louisiana.

Fact #13

The EPA is moving to finalize its “secret science” rule that would upend the agency’s ability to use science to inform important anti-pollution regulations and open it up to undo industry influence. 

Fact #14

The Department of Transportation is rolling back pipeline safety rules, including the creation of spill response plans. 

Fact #15

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is undercutting states’ renewable energy mandates to try and keep the grid addicted to fossil fuels

Fact #16

The Bureau of Land Management has opened a 90-day period for the public to comment on its proposed plans for 2,000 miles of fossil fuel pipeline in Wyoming. 

Fact #17

A group of 11 Senate Republicans are urging the Trump Administration to change credit rating requirements under the federal stimulus loan program, so that more oil and gas firms will be eligible to apply.  

Fact #18

On April 21, the EPA finalized its rollback of wetland and stream protections, weakening clean water requirements for various industrial facilities, including power plants and petrochemical plants. 

Fact #19

The EPA has allowed power plants to delay acid rain and cross-state pollution testing.


Fact #20

The Federal Aviation Administration is pushing forward a proposal to bring back super-polluting supersonic aircraft flights (that use a ton of jet fuel).


Fact #21

Trump’s EPA is looking to weaken regulations on the release of mercury and other toxic metals from oil and coal-fired power plants, endangering public health during the midst of the pandemic.

Fact #22

The Trump Administration is looking at paying oil companies billions of dollars just to keep oil in the ground.

Fact #23

A group of 17 Republican Senators is trying to redirect the bailout money being administered by BlackRock to failing coal companies instead of to small businesses.

Fact #24

Alberta’s government has followed the fine example of the U.S. government and suspended environmental reporting rules in the province.

Fact #25

The oil industry, exempt from stay-at-home orders, seems to have contaminated drinking water while building the Permian Highway Pipeline in Texas.

Fact #26

The FERC approved Pembina’s Jordan Cove Energy Project in Coos Bay, Oregon that, if completed, will be the biggest carbon producer in the state.

Fact #27

Ohio-based Murray Energy, the largest private coal miner in the U.S., is asking the judge overseeing its Chapter 11 bankruptcy to let it abandon some of its health-care obligations.

Fact #28

Whiting Petroleum Corp, the first major fracking company to go bust during the crisis, provided $14.6 million in cash bonuses for top executives, including $6.4 million for CEO Brad Holly, just days before filing for bankruptcy.

Fact #29

Big Oil CEOs from at least 7 companies had a personal meeting with Trump at the White House to ask for more handouts and relaxed regulations.

Fact #30

Trump’s EPA is allowing the sale of dirtier “winter fuel” gasoline during COVID-19, worsening air quality in the midst of a respiratory virus pandemic.

Fact #31

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Association (PHMSA) has stopped enforcing compliance with its regulations, meaning that it is not monitoring operator qualification or control room management. It has also encouraged state pipeline safety organizations to suspend enforcement of regulations.

Fact #32

The Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) bailed out Capital One Bank after they made a bunch of risky commodities trades in the oil and gas sector.

Fact #33

Oil and gas companies are lining up to get billions of dollars from the Trump Slush Fund that Mnuchin is going to be dolling out to major corporations.

Fact #34

Oil and gas companies are trying tricks to make themselves eligible for CARES Act stimulus money, such as hiring new advisors to ensure they can take maximum advantage.

Fact #35

TC Energy is moving the Coastal Gas Link Pipeline forward through Wet’suwet’en land despite Tribal concerns about how construction could spread COVID-19.

Fact #36

TC Energy and other pipeline companies are building “man-camps” to house workers to build new pipeline projects. Man camps are already connected to the rise in Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women; now they could become hot zones for the coronavirus.

Fact #37

TC Energy says it will start construction on the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline, endangering public health and our environment.

Fact #38

The Alberta Government just provided a $1 billion loan and over $4 billion in loan guarantees to TC Energy to build the Keystone XL pipeline, money that could have gone to coronavirus response and relief. This came just days after the province laid off over 20,000 education workers amid claims of being cash-strapped.

Fact #39

Right-wing state legislators are partnering with the fossil fuel industry to pass a wave of anti-protest bills so they can ram forward new pipeline projects.

Fact #40

The Bureau of Land Management is continuing to issue new oil and gas leases at ridiculously low prices, selling off our public lands to the fossil fuel industry.

Fact #41

Harold Hamm and other Oil CEOs are pushing the Trump Administration to intervene in the Saudi-Russian price war to increase oil prices.

Fact #42

The Trump Administration, Big Oil, and the auto industry are rolling back CAFE standards, the fuel efficiency rules that prevent pollution and save lives.

Fact #43

Fossil fuel companies are requesting that pipeline projects be deemed “critical infrastructure” even though there is an oversupply of oil and gas right now.

Fact #44

Fossil fuel companies are continuing pipeline construction even though it could spread the coronavirus, threatening the health and safety of workers and communities.

Fact #45

The fossil fuel industry is lobbying the government to spend $3 billion that could go to coronavirus relief on buying more oil for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

Fact #46

The American Petroleum Institute got the Environmental Protection Agency to stop enforcing environmental and public health protections indefinitely.

Fact #47

Senate Republicans are proposing that oil and gas companies no longer have to make royalty payments (even though you still have to pay your rent).

Fact #48

A group of House Republicans (and one Democrat from Texas) are asking the Department of Interior to exempt oil and gas producers in the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere from royalty payments.

Fact #49

The National Mining Association is lobbying to get out of paying into the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund that provides healthcare for 20,000 sick coal miners.

We can’t let the fossil fuel industry get away with profiting off the coronavirus while our communities are suffering.

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