More than 100 climate, environmental, social-justice and workers’ rights groups urged Congress on March 27, 2020 to reject efforts to assist the fossil fuel industry and instead focus relief legislation on the American people. The letter demands that any coronavirus relief legislation provide affected people with immediate material relief including healthcare, wage replacement and moratoriums on evictions and utility shutoffs.

It demands the rejection of the fossil fuel industry’s wish list, including tax breaks; payments to fossil fuel corporations rather than workers; waivers or suspensions of environmental, health, and safety laws; low-interest loans and loan guarantees; purchases for, or expansion of, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve; royalty relief; new subsidies; and any additional giveaways.

UU Ministry for Earth signed onto this letter, as did the Sunrise Movement, the Indigenous Environmental Network, the Hip Hop Caucus, Greenpeace USA,, Friends of the Earth, Fire Drill Fridays, and many others.

In responding quickly, holistically and completely to the COVID-19 pandemic where the top priority is to protect the most important thing in the world — the health of our loved ones, our neighbors, and ourselves — it is immoral to divert resources needed for the people to the fossil fuel industry that poisons our communities every day,” said Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr., president and founder of the Hip Hop Caucus. “The extremely high rates of asthma and respiratory illnesses caused by fossil fuel pollution in black and brown communities are putting us at an even greater risk for COVID-19 right now. At this critical moment, we demand that our elected leaders put us on a sustainable and moral path forward by supporting the health of people, workers, and the planet over corporate polluters.

Read the Full Letter (PDF)