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HELENA, MT, June 8, 2020 – A new analysis by Accountable.US finds that over 62% of ‘Mining’ corporations that include oil and gas, and related activities have received nearly $4.5 billion in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds through the Trump administration’s Small Business Administration (SBA).

The PPP was supposed to help small businesses keep their doors open and their employees on payroll through the pandemic. While more than 100,000 of those small businesses have shuttered, the Trump administration has bailed out Big Oil and polluting corporations – many of which have long track records of environmental violations or worse and are compensating their CEOs millions of dollars,” said Jayson O’Neill, Accountable.US spokesperson.

The new SBP report on approvals under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) showed $4,467,023,832 going to 20,389 or 62% of the ‘Mining’  corporations operating in the United States, including oil and gas, and related activities. The number of private ‘Mining’ establishments is estimated to be 32,795 as of the 3rd quarter of 2019 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most recently available data.

The number of corporations in the sector that had been approved for relief funds intended for small businesses nearly doubled since the last SBA report. A previous analysis by Western Values Project, an Accountable.US project, found that 34% of the sector had cashed in on some $3.9 billion from the program. 

A former member of the board of governors of the Federal Reserve’s recent opinion piece published in the New York Times openly questioned the Trump administration’s insistence on bailing out Big Oil, coal, and other polluting industries. The piece cited a survey of more than 200 finance ministers, central bankers, and economists that unequivocally recommended investments in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 

The Trump administration is doing the exact opposite by handing out billions to these polluting corporations through not only PPP funds but also tax credits, royalty cuts, lease suspensions, and soon low-interest loans through the Federal Reserve. And, the Trump administration is adding insult to injury by superseding state and tribal rights, gutting regulations, and fueling unchecked natural resource development. Legislation introduced by Senate and House lawmakers that would prohibit the Trump administration from bailing out big oil corporations has been thus far ignored by leadership in both chambers.

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The ongoing tracking project by Accountable.US at TrumpBailouts.org documents the billion-dollar corporations and other large corporations that have received taxpayer assistance under the CARES Act, and what advantages and assets they had going into the COVID-19 crisis that most small businesses could never access. 

Previous, controversial PPP grantees include a foreign-owned uranium mining corporation with ties to the Trump administration, oil corporations that spent millions on stock buybacks, an Indiana-based coal corporation with a former Trump official as its lobbyist, at least two companies that market their ability to ship U.S. manufacturing jobs overseas, major luxury hotel chains, a fashion model agency, and even the L.A. Lakers.

Learn more about the special interests fueling the Trump administration at Accountable.US and the administration’s ongoing efforts to carve out more big oil and coal bailouts at WesternValuesProject.org, an Accountable.US project focused on public lands conservation.