House Dems fight immunity for oil and gas

Led by Maryland Democrat Rep. Jamie Raskin, some 60 Democrats in the U.S. House pressured U.S. House leadership this week not to allow the oil and gas industry to use COVID-19 to get immunity for climate change and pollution.

Oklahoma’s only Democrat in the House, Rep. Kendra Horn of the 5th District was not among those who signed the letter which also attacked the fossil fuel industry.

One of those who signed the letter is New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, the Democrat Representative who angered the business community when she celebrated and cheered the day crude prices went into negative territory in April.

“Shielding carbon polluters from proper accountability is an irrelevant and dangerous distraction from the task at hand. It has no place in federal legislation—we think never, but especially not now,” said the Democrats in their letter.

The letter was backed by more than 20 environmental groups, including the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Sierra Club, and Natural Resources Defense Council.

“The struggle to beat the coronavirus should not be corrupted or abused for the purposes of providing legal immunity to the oil, gas and coal industries, major polluters who have destabilized our climate and imperiled our environment, our economy and our future,” added the representatives.

“Our communities cannot bear these costs alone, nor should they have to. Cities, counties, and states across the country are fighting back by taking the companies that knowingly contributed to climate change to court to recover their damages. We should not interfere with ongoing litigation by granting the culpable parties a license to destroy our eco-system with financial impunity and legal immunity.”