Hoyer also said energy companies could take advantage of many of the coronavirus relief measures enacted by Congress for companies, breaking with progressives in the party who introduced legislation last week seeking to bar fossil fuel companies from participating in those same programs.
“I don’t think we have any intention of discriminating against a company because of the kind of business it does,” he said. “The energy industry is a very important industry in our country.”
That remark was an apparent reference to allegations lodged by dozens of Republicans last week that major financial firms were discriminating against fossil fuel companies by refusing to finance certain projects.
Hoyer said Democrats remain focused on the hundreds of thousands of people employed in the energy sector, and since many large companies could obtain loans through the private sector, lawmakers’ focus would naturally be on smaller firms.
“I don’t think that’s a question of being for or against oil companies,” Hoyer said. “We are for employees who have lost their livelihood. And we’re wanting to help them and want to help their families.”
Heather Caygle contributed to this report.