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Bipartisan lawmakers urge assistance for oil and gas workers


A bipartisan group of lawmakers wrote to congressional leadership asking for assistance for oil and gas industry workers as oil prices have plunged amid the coronavirus and international disputes. 

“We write to ask you to help address the unique challenges facing the people who work in the U.S. oil and gas sector,” said the letter, which was signed by seven Democrats and two Republicans. 

“We know from previous economic aid efforts that any COVID-19 relief package must protect all hard-working Americans. The effects of COVID-19 will be felt across the economy,” it continued. 

The lawmakers wrote that there have been layoffs in recent weeks linked to the decreasing fuel prices. A Texas oil regulator recently told Bloomberg that tens of thousands of people in the state were being laid off as drilling rigs close down.

“As various sector-specific proposals are considered to address the impacts of COVID-19, this sector and the people who work in it must be taken into account,” the legislators wrote. 

The letter was signed by Reps. Lizzie Fletcher (D-Texas), Xochitl Torres Small (D-N.M.), Vicente Gonzalez (D-Texas), Sylvia GarciaSylvia GarciaHispanic Democrats demand funding for multilingual coronavirus messaging Five Latinas who could be Biden’s running mate Democratic candidates gear up for a dramatic Super Tuesday MORE (D-Texas), Michael McCaulMichael Thomas McCaulMcCaul slams China for expelling American journalists in letter to Chinese ambassador Overnight Defense: Pentagon curtails more exercises over coronavirus | House passes Iran war powers measure | Rocket attack hits Iraqi base with US troops House passes measure limiting Trump’s ability to take military action against Iran MORE (R-Texas), Al GreenAlexander (Al) N. GreenLawmakers shame ex-Wells Fargo directors for failing to reboot bank Chinatown restaurants, shops say business is down due to coronavirus fears Democrats highlight lack of diversity at major banks in new report MORE (D-Texas), Brian Babin (R-Texas), Kendra HornKendra Suzanne HornOvernight Defense: Pentagon curtails more exercises over coronavirus | House passes Iran war powers measure | Rocket attack hits Iraqi base with US troops House approves bill banning flavored tobacco products Bloomberg builds momentum on Capitol Hill with new endorsements MORE (D-Okla.), and Marc VeaseyMarc Allison VeaseyDemocratic candidates gear up for a dramatic Super Tuesday Honoring our nation’s heroes House votes to condemn Trump Medicaid block grant policy MORE (D-Texas.)

It comes as Congress and the Trump administration weigh certain relief for oil and gas companies. 

Meanwhile, the Energy Department has asked Congress for $3 billion with which to purchase oil to be stored in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The American Petroleum Institute, which represents companies in the industry, has also asked the administration to ease certain regulations.



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