Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Oil and Gas Companies Indirectly Bailed Out by the Fed

Politics
Oil and Gas Companies Indirectly Bailed Out by the Fed
A Marathon Oil refinery in Melvindale, Michigan on June 9, 2020. The Federal Reserve bought $3 million in the company's bonds before they were downgraded, bringing taxpayers' total stake to $7 million. FracTracker Alliance

A new report shows the U.S. government bought more than $350 million in bonds issued by oil and gas companies and induced investors to loan the industry tens of billions more at artificially low rates since the coronavirus pandemic began, Bloomberg reported.



The Federal Reserve itself bought debt from 19 fossil fuel companies, including 12 that have since been downgraded by independent credit-rating agencies, according to the report, released Wednesday by Public Citizen, Friends of the Earth and Bailout Watch. Since the Federal Reserve began bailing out corporate debt markets in March, a total of 56 oil and gas companies have issued $99.3 billion in debt, including some to companies that have said they may have failed without the cash. By announcing it would buy corporate debts, the reports authors write, the Fed effectively reduced the risk to investors who might otherwise not have purchased the oil and gas companies' debt. "The Treasury and Fed have provided a massive safety net for the oil industry, whose business model was failing before the pandemic," Alan Zibel, research director of Public Citizen's Corporate Presidency Project, told Bloomberg.

According to the report:

"The bailouts engineered by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Fed Chairman Jerome Powell are just the latest example of how corporate-friendly Trump appointees have scrambled to help the fossil fuel industry. The dirty-energy sector has been a key source of support for Republicans as well as a consistent pipeline for Trump administration staffers."

For a deeper dive:
Bloomberg

For more
climate change and clean energy news, you can follow Climate Nexus on Twitter and Facebook, and sign up for daily Hot News.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists' "Doomsday Clock" — an estimate of how close humanity is to the apocalypse — remains at 100 seconds to zero for 2021. Eva Hambach / AFP / Getty Images

By Brett Wilkins

One hundred seconds to midnight. That's how close humanity is to the apocalypse, and it's as close as the world has ever been, according to Wednesday's annual announcement from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, a group that has been running its "Doomsday Clock" since the early years of the nuclear age in 1947.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

The 13th North Atlantic right whale calf with their mother off Wassaw Island, Georgia on Jan. 19, 2010. @GeorgiaWild, under NOAA permit #20556

North Atlantic right whales are in serious trouble, but there is hope. A total of 14 new calves of the extremely endangered species have been spotted this winter between Florida and North Carolina.

Read More Show Less

Trending

There are new lifestyle "medicines" that are free that doctors could be prescribing for all their patients. Marko Geber / Getty Images

By Yoram Vodovotz and Michael Parkinson

The majority of Americans are stressed, sleep-deprived and overweight and suffer from largely preventable lifestyle diseases such as heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes. Being overweight or obese contributes to the 50% of adults who suffer high blood pressure, 10% with diabetes and additional 35% with pre-diabetes. And the costs are unaffordable and growing. About 90% of the nearly $4 trillion Americans spend annually for health care in the U.S. is for chronic diseases and mental health conditions. But there are new lifestyle "medicines" that are free that doctors could be prescribing for all their patients.

Read More Show Less
Candles spell out, "Fight for 1 point 5" in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany on Dec. 11, 2020, in reference to 1.5°C of Earth's warming. The event was organized by the Fridays for Future climate movement. Sean Gallup / Getty Images

Taking an unconventional approach to conduct the largest-ever poll on climate change, the United Nations' Development Program and the University of Oxford surveyed 1.2 million people across 50 countries from October to December of 2020 through ads distributed in mobile gaming apps.

Read More Show Less
A monarch butterfly is perched next to an adult caterpillar on a milkweed plant, the only plant the monarch will lay eggs on and the caterpillar will eat. Cathy Keifer / Getty Images

By Tara Lohan

Fall used to be the time when millions of monarch butterflies in North America would journey upwards of 2,000 miles to warmer winter habitat.

Read More Show Less