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

Fueling the fire fossil fuel industry bailout communities of color

A new report from Partnership for Working Families, Action Center on Race & the Economy, and the Public Accountability Initiative finds that U.S. federal economic recovery programs provided inadequate support to low-income, immigrant, & BIPOC communities most harmed by the fossil fuel industry, but gave the industry $110 billion in stimulus.

In a joint report, Partnership for Working Families, Action Center on Race & the Economy (ACRE), and Public Accountability Initiative (PAI) juxtapose the ongoing federal bailouts of fossil fuel companies with the impact of the industry on communities of color, low-income and immigrant communities. In addition to the stimulus money the fossil fuel industry has received in 2020, oil, gas and coal companies receive billions of dollars in indirect and direct public subsidies every year. This report finds the fossil fuel industry not only has been a primary driver of climate change but also has harmed the health of Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) communities for decades through local air, water and land pollution. The report is accompanied by three case studies from frontline communities from Long Beach, CA, Richmond, CA and Philadelphia, PA.

The report also incorporates evidence that the virus is amplifying existing inequalities and harming poor and marginalized communities the most. Data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that Black, Latinx, and Indigenous people are suffering hospitalization rates up to 5.3 times higher and death rates up to 2.1 times higher than other Americans. Environmental racism and the subsequent chronic exposure to air pollution has been identified as one of the biggest contributing factors to higher rates of severe illness and death from COVID-19 within Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities.

Partnership for Working Families is a national network of leading regional advocacy organizations who support innovative solutions to our nation’s economic and environmental problems.

Action Center on Race & the Economy (ACRE) is a campaign hub for organizations working at the intersection of racial justice and Wall Street accountability.

Public Accountability Initiative (PAI) is a nonprofit public interest research organization focused on corporate and government accountability.