News Roundups

Downgraded Oil Assets, A Novel Way to Fund a Green Economy, and More

Daily stimulus and recovery news headlines from August 17, 2020.

Seven top oil firms downgrade assets by $87bn in nine months

The world’s largest listed oil companies have wiped almost $90bn from the value of their oil and gas assets in the last nine months as the coronavirus pandemic accelerates a global shift away from fossil fuels.

In the last three financial quarters, seven of the largest oil firms have slashed their forecasts for future oil market prices, triggering a wave of downgrades to the value of their oil and gas projects totalling $87bn.

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Trump’s Stimulus Stalemate With Democrats Leaves Economy Limping

Chances for a deal in Congress on a new, comprehensive stimulus package before September diminish with each passing day, leaving the U.S. economy limping and many businesses and millions of consumers coming up short.

Democrats and Republicans are focused on their party presidential nominating conventions this week and next. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi headed to California after rebuffing an overture from President Donald Trump’s Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, to restart talks on a virus relief package without concessions.

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A Novel Way to Fund a Green Economy

The government has been pretty kind to fossil fuel companies these last few months. Recent disclosures from the Federal Reserve’s secondary bond-buying program show that it has now bought $17 billion worth of ExxonMobil debt and $28.5 million from Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind the Dakota Access Pipeline. Private asset manager Blackrock oversees this purchasing program, among others.

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Oil Companies Wonder If It’s Worth Looking for Oil Anymore

A few dots near the bottom corner of the world map in the southern Atlantic, the Falkland Islands were once at the forefront of a new era for the oil industry as companies scoured the planet for resources.

Yet a decade after the discovery of as much as 1.7 billion barrels of crude in surrounding waters, the British overseas territory known for sheep rearing and tension with Argentina looks as remote as ever. Rather than the next frontier, the project to extract energy risks being added to a list of what companies call “stranded assets” that could cost them huge sums to mothball.

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Covid-19 May Speed Up Low-Carbon Shift, Google Says

In a Q& A with BloombergNEF, Google’s Jeff Hamel, Director of Industry Partnerships at Google, shared his thoughts on how the coronavirus may speed up the low-carbon shift. The clean energy industry, along with essentially all other industries, felt the 1-2-3 punches of the Covid-19 pandemic that is still raging in the US. Hamel thinks that, while the clean energy industry is hurting in the short term, it isn’t being hit as hard as others. In fact, he believes we may see a boom similar to the aftereffect of the 2008 recession coming out of this.

“The opportunity is there to direct policy and set strategy that would accelerate the trajectory we’re on now. The whole renewable scenario has been moved up as a result of the efforts of the past couple of years,” Hamel said

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