On the tenth anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill – considered to be the largest marine oil spill in history – Western Values Project is releasing research on the 19 Gulf of Mexico oil corporations requesting a massive bailout from the Trump administration. The letter, obtained by and reported on by Bloomberg News, was sent to President Trump in late March urging Interior Secretary and former oil and gas lobbyist David Bernhardt to take immediate action.
“This would be a historically bad investment at a time when we need to be addressing the immediate needs of American workers, small businesses, and families. Nevertheless, knowing President Trump’s track record of bad investments, all taxpayers should be worried,” said Jayson O’Neill, Director of Western Values Project. “We know Trump’s entire swampy team is desperately trying to bail out big oil as the historically boom-bust industry’s wheels appear to be coming off with prices nosediving. But throwing more taxpayer money at these polluting corporations isn’t going to solve the disaster the Trump administration caused.”
Among the requests by the 19 big oil corporations to the Trump administration, these producers called for:
Between the 19 oil corporations making the request, seven of them have been assessed fines exceeding $8.7 million for environmental violations and other penalties and six have made total donations in excess of $8,500 to the Trump campaign since 2016.
Recent reporting revealed that President Trump’s Interior Department is using a loophole in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to give Alaskan Native corporations that develop oil, gas, and coal access to billions of dollars in emergency COVID-19 relief funds earmarked for Native American tribes struggling to address the pandemic.
Sweeping royalty reductions and suspensions of operations and production by the Trump administration could have devastating ripple effects, including potentially derailing the tenuous production reduction deal President Trump made with Saudi Arabia and other OPEC members.
For more information and analysis on the Trump administration’s big oil bailout efforts, visit Western Values Project, an Accountable.US project focused on public lands conservation and accountability.
Oil Producers In The Gulf Of Mexico Want An Immediate Bailout
Nineteen Offshore Oil Companies Have Asked President Trump To Immediately Waive Their Royalties And Extend Their Leases. “Nineteen Gulf of Mexico oil producers are asking President Trump to immediately waive royalty payments and extend offshore leases by up to three years to help them weather a global crude glut and plummeting demand from the coronavirus. Independent Gulf producers face “unprecedented and existential threats” from the Covid-19 pandemic and the oil price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia, the companies say in a letter to Trump obtained by Bloomberg News. Companies that signed the letter, including Fieldwood Energy LLC, Arena Energy LP, Talos Energy and LLOG Exploration Co., collectively represent tens of thousands of employees and contractors and contributed more than $1B in royalty payments to the U.S. Treasury in 2018.” [Bloomberg, 04/01/20]
The Oil Corporations Asking For Handouts Have A Bad Environmental Record
Fieldwood Energy LLC
Fieldwood Energy Had A Fatal Explosion At An Offshore Rig In 2014. “An explosion occurred on the Echo Platform, operated since July 2014 by Fieldwood Energy L.L.C. of Houston, killing one and injuring at least three on November 20, 2014. The platform is located at West Delta 105 in the Gulf of Mexico, approximately 12 miles off the coast of New Orleans, where Houston-based Apache Corp. drilled three wells in 2001. The platform sits in about 220 feet of water, and is considered a shallow-water rig. Three injured workers, one of whom reportedly suffered serious injuries, were being treated at an onshore medical facility, according to the operator.” [Herman, Herman, & Katz, 11/21/14]
Fieldwood Energy Has Been Assessed $527,978 In Penalties From Environmental Violations By Both EPA And BSEE. [Violation Tracker, accessed 04/19/20]
Fieldwood Energy And Its Employees Have Given $2,375 In Campaign Donations To Donald Trump Since 2016. [CQ Political Moneyline, accessed 04/19/20]
Talos Energy LLC
Talos Energy Has Been Assessed $6,851,977 In Penalties For Environmental, Offshore Drilling, And Other Violations Since 2000. [Violation Tracker, accessed 04/19/20]
Talos Energy And Its Employees Have Given $80 In Campaign Donations To Donald Trump Since 2016. [CQ Political Moneyline, accessed 04/19/20]
EnVen Energy Corporation
Enven Energy Has Been Assessed $531,500 In Penalties For Environmental Violations Since 2014. [Violation Tracker, accessed 04/19/20]
Byron Energy Inc
Byron Energy Is An Australian Company. [Byron Energy, accessed 04/19/20]
Contango Oil & Gas Company
Contango Oil & Gas Has Been Assessed $83,100 In Penalties For Environmental Violations From BSEE Since 2012. [Violation Tracker, accessed 04/19/20]
LLOG Exploration Co., LLC
LLOG Exploration Co Has Been Assessed $30,000 In Penalties From Environmental And Offshore Drilling Violations Since 2002. [Violation Tracker, accessed 04/19/20]
LLOG Exploration Co And Its Employees Have Given $200 To Donald Trump’s Presidential Campaigns. [CQ Political Moneyline, accessed 04/19/20]
Castex Offshore Inc
Castex Offshore Has Been Assessed $557,250 In Penalties For Environmental Violations From BSEE Since 2012. [Violation Tracker, accessed 04/19/20]
Otto Energy Ltd
Otto Energy Is An Australian Company. [Otto Energy, 04/19/20]
Ridgewood Energy And Its Employees Have Given $5,400 To Donald Trump’s Presidential Campaign. [CQ Political Moneyline, accessed 04/19/20]
ANKOR Energy, LLC
Ankor Energy Has Been Assessed $127,000 In Penalties For Environmental Violations From BSEE Since 2012. [Violation Tracker, accessed 04/19/20]
Ankor Energy And Its Employees Have Given $32 To Donald Trump’s Presidential Campaign. [CQ Political Moneyline, accessed 04/19/20]
Kosmos Energy Gulf of Mexico Operation, LLC
Kosmos Energy And Its Employees Have Given $500 To Donald Trump’s Presidential Campaign. [CQ Political Moneyline, accessed 04/19/20]