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WASHINGTON – Last night, the Senate unanimously passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The $2 trillion stimulus is likely to proceed quickly through the House and become law.

Although concessions were made regarding Leader McConnell’s original corporate slush fund, the final bill includes $500 billion in lending authority with few binding restrictions the Treasury Secretary cannot waive. A new analysis of the CARES Act from Friends of the Earth shows that the cash-strapped fracking industry is uniquely positioned to exploit this emergency funding at the expense of communities, taxpayers and the climate.

Lukas Ross, senior policy analyst with Friends of the Earth, issued the following statement in response:

It’s good to see that direct aid is finally heading to individuals and frontline workers. Unfortunately, the good news stops there. This bill gives Secretary Mnuchin unprecedented power without any binding guardrails in place to stop a runaway bailout for the worst polluters. The cash-strapped, insolvent fracking industry will likely be one of the first in line for handouts. We are counting on Congressional oversight and if necessary, future legislation to keep polluters from cashing in on this crisis.

Citations

[1]https://icm-tracking.meltwater.com/link.php?DynEngagement=true&H=btYXC68syxnIlVIaW0qBweEUHWPFwuN5EgnqFgPj0oiC1OMl9zi1RojnNfhoIpxw3qeuxCH6VzWJ9HdpJtJikG2CV3d5bUMKMEFxM34iPHoLbiJadtz%2BpS78OyTEXDh4&G=0&R=http%3A%2F%2Ffoe.org%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2020%2F03%2FNoBailoutForFracking1.pdf&I=20200326131914.000000b1cfe0%40mail6-113-ussnn1&X=MHwxMDQ2NzU4OjVlN2NhYmI0NzU2YjFjOGUzMjM0OTM1YTs%3D&S=LHpgYofqQaE-wzlOgEurC9J6eYoYlY_FM3epugMeBGc