States in the U.S. have been largely left to fend for themselves during the global COVID-19 pandemic. The federal government under President Trump alternates between declaring premature victory over the virus and renouncing any responsibility for the wellbeing of individual states as they beg for much needed support. In California, where over 50,000 cases of COVID-19 have been reported as of early May, 2020 and millions more had filed for unemployment as of early April, plans are being finalized for a multi-million dollar subsidy -- intended for the oil industry.Sign the petition and demand that the U.S. federal government halt this plan immediately, and use those funds to actually help Californians in need!
Studies have shown that communities living in proximity to California's oil refineries -- disproportionately communities of color -- are at higher risk
for health related issues such as cancer, birth defects, and respiratory problems.
Now, in the middle of a pandemic, preliminary numbers show that exposure to the pollutants from refineries corresponds to higher COVID-19 related death rates.
Yet, the money the federal government plans to give the oil industry will go towards a project
that will increase refineries' production -- adding to these health issues and piling on our already astronomical greenhouse gas emissions. We are already in the fight of our lives against COVID-19, and the climate crisis is not on pause. Increased oil production will cause more death, now and in the future.
Economically, the project is irresponsible at best. While taxpayers would be stripped of over three million dollars per year to fund this project, these refineries would see a net gain per year of over 11 million dollars.
States are struggling to support their hospitals, their small businesses, and their unemployed. While the project is being framed as keeping oil prices low for locals, the truth is that the vast majority of oil produced in California is exported, making this justification a boldfaced lie. California needs the federal government's help to fight this pandemic and save lives. Please join us in telling them to withdraw this ridiculous oil bailout, and redirect it to COVID-19 relief efforts!