Pouring coronavirus stimulus funds down a hole. Literally.

Despite people and small businesses struggling to make it day to day amidst the coronavirus pandemic, the North Dakota Emergency Commission is giving the oil industry a $33.1 million gift. That’s OUR money.

Using the money to plug oil wells? Surely not… Right?

A treatment that benefits only one industry in North Dakota is a tough pill to swallow for thousands of the state’s citizens who have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic. In fact, it shouldn’t go down easy for any U.S. taxpayer.

James MacPherson of the Associated Press reported last week that the all-Republican North Dakota Emergency Commission approved $33.1 million of the $1.25 billion the state received in coronavirus stimulus funding from the federal government to plug “orphaned” oil wells.

The funding came to the state as a result of the CARES Act, passed by Congress in March, which provided states financial assistance to help them deal with coronavirus pandemic-related expenses such as aid for hospitals and emergency response teams, purchases of medical and protective equipment and payroll support for healthcare providers. It also is intended to help states recover economically.

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