No Stealth Bailouts for Oil Companies

WASHINGTON  – The Federal Reserve expanded the scope and eligibility of its Main Street lending program today, which would enable the fossil fuel industry to access cheap capital intended for companies reeling from the COVID crisis. 

The following is a statement from Doug Sims, director of the Green Finance Center at NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council):

“By loosening its requirements, the Federal Reserve is giving over-leveraged oil drillers access to aid meant for Main Street. In addition, these new rules do not require the recipients to use the money to preserve jobs.”

“The oil industry has done so much damage to our environment and climate, and it already gets billions of dollars in tax breaks and subsidies. There’s no reason to enable a stealth bailout for the oil industry now.”


In revised rules issued today, the Federal Reserve said more indebted companies could qualify for its loans and said it would allow companies to use taxpayer-backed loans to refinance existing debt. It also increased the maximum size of a loan to $200 million from $150 million. Each of these changes was requested by the oil industry or one of its supporters, such as Texas Senator Ted Cruz. 

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The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.​