Public Resource

Fueling the Fire: Why Any Fossil Fuel Industry Bailout Will be Disastrous for Communities of Color

Dieynabou Barry, Parthership for Working Families; Robert Gailbraith, Public Accountability Project/Little Sis, Derek Seidman, Public Accountability Project/Little Sis, Ericka Thi Patterson, Action Center on Race & the Economy
12-18-2020

This report looks at the intersection of pollution from refining and burning fossil fuels, repiratory diseases caused or exacerbated by this pollution, the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and race and racial inequality in the United States. It makes the case that the CARES Act constitutes a bailout of the dirty energy sector that spent more to prop-up the fossil fuel industry than it did on health care supplies and investments, even as this industry contributes to the adverse health outcomes from the COVID-19 pandemic in communities of color. The report's key findings also link large financial sector players like big banks, asset management companies, private equity and insurance companies to the chain of carbon and chemical emissions that have disproprotionately negative impacts on communities of color and low-income communities.            

Here are the toplines for the key takeaways.

  • The fossil fuel industry contributes to adverse outcomes from COVID-19 within communities of color.
  • The fossil fuel industry, despite untenable financial fundamentals, is propped up by billions in public dollars annually. 
  • The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, And Economic Security Act stimulus package prioritizes fossil fuel corporations while leaving communities of color behind.
  • Wall Street is a key part of the fossil fuel ndustry that is making us and our planet sick. 

The report makes these recommendations.

  1. Divest from fossil fuels and invest in frontline ommunities.
  2. Make polluters pay.
  3. Democratize energy production and distribution.