FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 24, 2021
National U.S. Environmental Groups Host Rally to Eliminate Fossil Fuel Subsidies
WASHINGTON, DC — Local and national organizations across the country are coming together for the virtual Rally to End Polluter Welfare because it’s time for Congress to fund our futures instead of fossil fuels. The coalition is calling on Congress to make eliminating fossil fuels a top priority to carry out President Joe Biden’s Made in America Tax Plan.
Confirmed speakers for the rally include Congressman Ro Khanna, Zanagee Artis of Zero Hour, Natalie Mebane of 350.org, Jane Kleeb of Bold Alliance and the Nebraska Democratic Party, and Kevin Patel of One Up Action International.
The rally is being hosted by Zero Hour and is cosponsored by Oil Change International, 350.org, Sunrise Movement, Sierra Club, Evergreen Action, Oxfam America, Greenpeace USA, Friends of the Earth U.S., Stop the Money Pipeline, Center for Biological Diversity, Our Revolution, Food & Water Watch, Businesses for a Livable Climate, California Businesses for a Livable Climate, Call to Action Colorado, CatholicNetwork US, Colorado Businesses for a Livable Climate, Colorado Small Business Coalition, DNC Environment and Climate Crisis Council, Extinction Rebellion San Francisco Bay Area, Fossil Fuel Divest Harvard, Indigenous Environmental Network, NM Climate Justice, North Range Concerned Citizens, OneUpAction, Our Revolution, Progressive Democrats of America, Rapid Shift Network, Revolution Coalition, Spirit of the Sun, United People Project, Unite North Metro Denver, Wall of Women Colorado, 350 Silicon Valley, 350 Butte County, and 198 methods.
“It’s long past time for the United States to end the fossil fuel subsidies propping up Big Oil, Gas, and Coal. Standing up to the big polluters poisoning communities and the climate is a no-brainer and critical step toward a just transition to a renewable energy future,” said Collin Rees, Senior Campaigner at Oil Change International.
“Passing the End Polluter Welfare Act is a key step to achieving environmental justice for communities harmed by the fossil fuel industry across the country and around the world. A transition to renewable energy is not possible while billions of taxpayer dollars are spent every year propping up the fossil fuel industry at home and abroad. Young people demand an end to polluter welfare,” said Zanagee Artis, Policy Director of Zero Hour.
“It is time to end the corporate welfare that our government provides to polluters. We cannot reasonably fight for a just transition off of fossil fuels, if our own government uses the people’s money to give them an unfair advantage. The science says that we must eliminate the use of fossil fuels entirely, in order to have any chance of staving off the worst effects of climate change. Instead of aggressively helping the economy transition as soon as possible, our government is still providing polluters with unfair handouts. It is time to end polluter welfare and build a clean energy economy,” said Natalie Mebane, U.S. Policy Director at 350.org.
“Indigenous communities and tribal nations are on the frontlines of climate chaos caused by the extraction and combustion of fossil fuels. Fossil fuel subsidies and tax giveaways create business as usual with fossil fuel industries operating within our Indigenous lands and territories. We are asking elected leaders to cosponsor and pass the End Polluter Welfare Act to close tax loopholes and eliminate federal subsidies for oil, gas and coal,” said Dallas Goldtooth, Keep It In The Ground Campaign Organizer with the Indigenous Environmental Network.
“For far too long, oil and gas companies have raked in billions of taxpayer dollars from federal subsidies while polluting our communities, fueling the climate crisis, and leaving irreversible scars on neighborhoods, lands and waters. We must finally end the use of public dollars for fossil fuel extraction. This step will help us do the transformative work necessary to tackle the climate crisis and advance environmental justice,” said Kelly Martin, Director of Sierra Club’s Beyond Dirty Fuels campaign.
“There has never been more momentum to eliminate the public giveaways and counterproductive tax breaks that are propping up oil, gas, and coal companies on the public’s dime. Oxfam stands with the broad coalition of activists from across the country demanding that Congress take action: Members of the House and Senate need to co-sponsor the End Polluter Welfare Act and incorporate this long-overdue set of reforms into the upcoming reconciliation bill to ensure we can tackle the climate crisis, fund a just economic transition, and protect marginalized communities,” said Gina Cummings, Vice President of Advocacy, Alliances & Policy at Oxfam America.
“We strongly support the End Polluter Welfare Act, and call on Congress to support a full repeal of fossil fuel subsidies in 2021. American taxpayers still pay up to $15 billion in direct federal subsidies to the dying fossil fuel industry every year. Every dollar US taxpayers spend bailing out this racist, dirty industry is a failure of policy, and a betrayal of the promises President Biden has made,” said Lukas Ross of Friends of the Earth.
“The fossil fuel industry has been propped up by billions of dollars in government giveaways for decades. Policymakers have been talking about ending these fossil fuel subsidies for over ten years. Now we have a narrow window of opportunity to cut Big Oil off once and for all. Congress must show climate leadership and pass the End Polluter Welfare Act through budget reconciliation this year,” said John Noël, Senior Climate Campaigner at Greenpeace USA.
“For too long, the federal government has incentivized pollution by pouring taxpayer dollars into the coffers of the corporations that are poisoning our communities and abusing our public lands and waters. Evergreen is proud to partner with Zero Hour and the youth climate activists who are leading the fight to end fossil fuel subsidies in all forms. Congress must act now to end taxpayer handouts to corporate polluters, and passing the End Polluter Welfare Act would go a long way to achieving that goal, said Jamal Raad, Executive Director of Evergreen Action.
“The scale of the climate crisis we face requires an urgent, all-hands-on-deck approach to cutting dirty energy out of society. Halting taxpayer-funded cash handouts to fossil fuel corporations is the clear and obvious first step in what must be a thorough and determined process of completely severing our foolish alliance with filthy energy sources of the past. The End Polluter Welfare Act is a no-brainer of no-brainers,” said Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food & Water Watch.
“We can not truly build back better until we end these subsidies to polluters. While our country is facing the triple threat of a health, economic and climate crisis, corporate handouts to the fossil fuel industry are not only wrong, they are dangerous. Our Council has held listening tours from coast to coast and at every stop ending subsides to those who are destroying our planet enjoys wide — and bipartisan — support. The climate crisis is not coming. It is here, now. Now is not the time to be timid or take half-measures. This moment demands bold action,” said Michelle Deatrick, Chair, DNC Environment and Climate Crisis Council.
“An ask has to be made of leaders to provide support in the midst of environmental disaster as people are currently losing their homes and even dying- because our federal and corporate leaders won’t make the changes necessary to prevent it,” said Lena Rodriguez, Founder & Executive Director of Revolution Coalition.
“It is high time that we end subsidies to polluters. Protect our air, land, water and communities,” said Anni Elwell Hanna of New Mexico Climate Justice.
“It’s time for the federal government to stop sponsoring an industry that is destroying our planet, our communities, and our futures. We need to divest from the fossil fuel industry, including and especially by closing all tax loopholes and removing all subsidies for the industry once and for all, and reinvest in a regenerative economy, now,” said Ilana Cohen, organizer with Fossil Fuel Divest Harvard.