Proposed Legislation Looks To Compensate Oil and Gas Workers for Health Conditions
The legislation would require oil and gas companies to pay into a fund that would cover health expenses for workers and their families.
US Rep. Gabe Vasquez is seeking to compensate oil and gas workers and their families for health conditions associated with living and working in the fossil fuel industry.
Vasquez, a Democrat from New Mexico, announced the proposed legislation during a meeting with members of Somos Un Pueblo Unido, an immigrants rights group, in Hobbs, New Mexico.
Supporters said the legislation, known as the Energy Workers Health Improvement and Compensation Fund Act, is important for Spanish-speaking and Latino communities because many of the energy workers in the Permian Basin are minorities, including immigrants from Latin America.
“New Mexico relies heavily on oil and gas revenues, but lawmakers often ignore the grave cost to frontline communities and industry workers,” Marcela Díaz, executive director of Somos Un Pueblo Unido, said in a press release. “Immigrant families in the Permian Basin are disproportionately impacted by inadequate enforcement of health and safety standards, long hours, and extreme work conditions. That’s why they are organizing and demanding adequate compensation, safer and better jobs, and more public investments in their families and communities. We are greatly encouraged by Congressman Vasquez’s willingness to listen to and stand up for these essential workers, not just industry owners.”
The legislation would require oil and gas companies to pay into a fund that would cover health expenses for workers and their families that develop certain conditions. These include asthma, heat-related illness, and other respiratory and cardiovascular conditions that can be caused by air pollution or exposure to oil and gas emissions.