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April 23, 2020

Reuters: U.S. Lawmakers Urge Fed to Keep Energy Industry Out of Lending Program

Reuters | APRIL 23, 2020

WASHINGTON — Two Democratic U.S. lawmakers on Thursday urged the Federal Reserve to reject a request by the energy industry to be allowed to use funding from a $600 billion emergency lending facility to pay off their debts.

Senator Edward Markey and Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragán wrote to the Fed after Reuters reported that the energy industry had asked the central bank to make the change to the program, which aims to help small and medium-sized businesses hurt by the novel coronavirus disruption.

“It would be a short-sighted misuse of taxpayer resources to accede to these requests, which would effectively help bail out an industry struggling under the weight of its own debt and long-term systemic decline,” the lawmakers wrote to Fed Chair Jerome Powell on Thursday.

As governments globally respond to climate change, the cost of renewable energy is declining, creating fundamental structural risks for oil and gas assets that taxpayers should not take on, the lawmakers said.