News Roundups

The Bailout News So Far

BailoutWatch is tracking the latest news on how the fossil fuel industry is being bailed out by the Federal government. Follow along with our latest news round-up.

Over the course of just two months, the federal government has moved at incredible speed to pour trillions into shoring up the economy. From the start, providing aid to fossil fuels—whose finances were in disarray before the coronavirus hit—have been of particular focus for the Trump administration. The following stories provide an overview of that response.

Energy Industry Faces Reckoning After Oil Prices Crash

The oil-price collapse wiped out tens of billions of dollars in energy-company stock market value in a moment Monday, calling into question the industry’s ability to pay a huge tab that it rang up with bondholders and banks to fuel its price war with OPEC.

Investors accelerated their flight from energy-company assets, sending stock and bond prices down by double-digit percentages. The exodus of capital threatens an industry that has been a pillar of the debt markets and of the U.S. economic recovery since the last recession.

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Here’s What America’s Oil CEOs Discussed With Trump

America's leading oil CEOs urged President Donald Trump on Friday to grant the embattled industry access to government programs aimed at helping companies harmed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump was "very receptive" to that request and did not discuss government-mandated oil production cuts during the meeting at the White House, American Petroleum Institute CEO Mike Sommers, who was in the meeting, told CNN Business. Saudi Arabia and Russia would like to get the United States, the world's leading oil producer, to join in emergency cuts aimed at halting the crash in oil prices.

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Mnuchin Weighs Lending Program for Struggling Oil Companies

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he’s considering the creation of a government lending program for U.S. oil companies, which are looking for federal aid as they cope with a devastating plunge in prices.

One of the components we’re looking at is providing a lending facility for the industry,” Mnuchin said in a Bloomberg News interview on Thursday. “We’re looking at a lot of different options, and we have not made any conclusions.

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Fed Changes Open Door for More Drillers to Get Loans

The Federal Reserve revamped its Main Street Lending Program in ways that will allow battered oil companies to qualify for the aid after industry allies lobbied the Trump administration for changes.

Larger, more heavily indebted companies can now qualify and use the money to pay off prior loans under the changes the central bank announced Thursday. The move opens the door to more oil and gas producers, said Senator Kevin Cramer, a Republican from North Dakota, who had pressed the administration on the issue as energy companies struggle to survive an epic collapse in fuel demand and crude prices.

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Big Money Managers Take Lead Role in Managing Coronavirus Stimulus

The Federal Reserve’s giant program of corporate bond buying is about to kick in. It will hand a critical new role in propping the struggling economy to a business with increasing clout in the financial world: money management.

The central bank has tappedBlackRock Inc. to help it direct money into both new and already-issued corporate bonds, assisting the Fed in its recently adopted role as lender of last resort for businesses. The Fed is expected to launch the program in coming days

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