Fossil Fuel industry abusing CARES Act that was created to help small businesses and workers at this time

There’s no limit on how the new refunds can be used -- and even bankrupt firms can get them.


The CARES Act was created to help businesses keep their workers employed. The fossil fuel industry, however, is using this Act to avoid paying millions of dollars in taxes and to get their top executives paid. This has left many, including Sen. Bernie Sanders, in a state of outrage. 

$1.9 billion in CARES Act tax benefits have been allocated to big oil. The “benefits are being claimed by at least 37 oil companies, service firms, and contractors,” says watchdog group Documented senior researcher  Jesse Coleman. 

Prior to the pandemic, the fossil fuel industry was already struggling financially and the outbreak crippled big oil completely. These bailout tax breaks are what is helping these companies now prosper. 

The CARES Act “was sold as help for the little guy — help for small business. In the name of ‘small business,’ we’re shoveling out billions of dollars to big corporations and rich guys,” says Steve Rosenthal, a senior fellow with the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center.

According to Bloomberg, the combination of big losses now and the congressional tax changes mean it may be years before some oil companies have to pay corporate income taxes at all. There’s no limit on how the new refunds can be used — and even bankrupt firms can get them.


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