Bailout oversight problems, fossil fuel industry in turmoil, and other news from around the web

Daily news headlines about the stimulus and recovery from June 16, 2020.

Banks cut shale drillers' lifelines as losses mount

Banks are slashing credit lines to shale drillers, as an oil-price crash and wells that have failed to produce as much as predicted force a painful reassessment of companies’ assets.

The cuts vary from company to company, but Moody’s Corp. and JP Morgan Chase & Co. forecast a total reduction of as much as 30% to the asset-backed loans, or tens of billions of dollars. At current prices, that will be enough to tip some weaker players into bankruptcy as capital for the beleaguered industry dries up, say bankers, lawyers and energy executives.

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BP takes $17.5B write-down

BP PLC is writing down as much as $17.5 billion of its assets and might leave some of its oil and gas in the ground because of lower energy prices and weakened demand amid the global crisis caused by the novel coronavirus.

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Fed moves ahead with corporate bond buying

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve said Monday that it will begin purchasing corporate bonds as part of a previously announced plan to ensure companies can borrow through the bond market during the pandemic.

The program will purchase existing bonds on the open market, as opposed to newly issued debt. The central bank said will seek to build a “broad and diversified” portfolio that will mimic a bond-market index. The bonds will have to be from highly rated, investment-grade companies, or ones that fit that description before the viral outbreak struck.

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Q&A: Senate Energy Chair Lisa Murkowski

"We’ve done economic stabilization with CARES [Act], but this next package I view as more as 'all right, how do we deal with the economic recovery?' And so we need to be looking at jobs. We need to look at where we have lost those jobs and how we can work to regain or to breathe some light into these and we absolutely have opportunities when it comes to the clean energy space."

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Three letters that could end fossil fuels — or green wash them

The black swan event of a pandemic amid an oil glut has failed to railroad a sustainability movement that's gripped investors, oil companies and nongovernmental organizations.

But is "ESG" key to the energy transition or green washing?

ESG is short for environmental, social and governance, three areas increasingly weighed in investments, lending and corporate decisionmaking. On the ground, the movement has helped fuel protests against banks funding fossil fuel projects, oil companies announcing zero-emission targets and changes to influential mutual fund ratings.

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