News Roundups

Oil demand recovery threatened as virus cases surge, UN chief says coal has no place in COVID-19 recovery, and more

Daily news headlines about the stimulus and recovery from July 13, 2020.

Daily news headlines about the stimulus and recovery from July 13, 2020.

Oil Demand Recovery Threatened as Virus Cases Surge

The International Energy Agency warned on Friday that the surge of coronavirus cases in nations like the United States and Brazil was “casting a shadow” over the outlook for global oil demand.

In its latest Monthly Oil Report, the group revised its forecast for demand this year slightly upward by 400,000 barrels a day, to 92.2 million barrels a day. This still represents a decline of nearly 8 percent compared with 2019, reflecting the diminished economic activity caused by efforts to curb the virus.

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'Coal has no place in Covid-19 recovery plans,' says UN chief

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has urged countries to stop financing the coal industry, to deliver a sustainable future following the pandemic.

"Coal has no place in Covid-19 recovery plans," he said on Thursday, via video link during an online summit hosted by the International Energy Agency (IEA).

The summit included 40 government ministers from countries around the world, representing 80% of global energy use and emissions. Its aim was to set out plans to reduce global emissions while also boosting economic recovery after Covid-19.

Guterres commended governments that have committed to green recovery plans, citing the EU, South Korea, Nigeria and Canada.

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Energy secretary: Oil and gas will ‘come back very, very strong’

Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette has a message for thousands of U.S. oil and gas workers laid off during the recent oil bust: “Remain strong.”

“This is an industry that will come back, and it will come back very, very strong,” Brouillette said Friday in Houston. “These are difficult times for all Americans, but this industry will return.”

Brouillette was in town Friday to meet with energy executives and hear from them how the industry was weathering the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic and a glut of cheap crude, which sent oil prices to historic lows.

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America’s 3,000 bus companies make appeal for economic relief amid pandemic

In two decades, William Torres built one of the largest private bus companies in the nation’s capital, ferrying millions of people to destinations within and outside the Washington region.

Last year his buses carried 1.4 million people in the region and traveled 4.2 million miles.

Then the coronavirus pandemic hit. The cancellations began to pour in. All the trips lined up for spring and summer — $5.4 million in business — were canceled within days in March. No new trips have been booked for the fall. Most of the company’s nearly 200 employees have been laid off, and many of its 70 motor coaches sit parked in a Lorton, Va., lot.

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Fracking Firms Fail, Rewarding Executives and Raising Climate Fears

The day the debt-ridden Texas oil producer MDC Energy filed for bankruptcy eight months ago, a tank at one of its wells was furiously leaking methane, a potent greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere. As of last week, dangerous, invisible gases were still spewing into the air.

By one estimate, the company would need more than $40 million to clean up its wells if they were permanently closed. But the debts of MDC’s parent company now exceed the value of its assets by more than $180 million.

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