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Mon Mar 23, 2020, 11:36 AM

Don't use coronavirus to bail out oil and gas companies


Donít use coronavirus to bail out oil and gas companies

March 23, 2020 at 10:26 a.m. ET
By Basav Sen

The fossil-fuel industryís problems were self-inflicted, and itís barreling us toward the next crisis
In 2008, the U.S. economy went into its deepest recession since the Great Depression, brought low by reckless financial institutions, deregulation, and lax regulatory enforcement. The recession led to millions losing their homes to foreclosure.

The federal government could have stepped in and rescued struggling homeowners. That would have kept families in their homes, and preserved the tax base and social fabric of communities.

Instead, they handed out $700 billion in public money to the very banks responsible for the crisis (not counting more than $3 trillion in zero or very low interest rate loans), allegedly because that was the only way to avert a deeper recession. But the recession worsened, and the ďtoo big to failĒ banks became even bigger.

This scenario is replaying itself today, with even higher stakes. Weíre facing down not just a pandemic and a global economic meltdown, but an unraveling of our planetís entire life support systems.
So letís not blame a virus, or Russia, or Saudi Arabia. If U.S. oil and gas producers are in trouble, they are the ones at fault, and it takes nerve on their part to ask the government for a handout. While oil and gas workers facing layoffs deserve assistance, their undeserving bosses do not.

Then, consider what science tells us about this industry. A healthy future for oil and gas inevitably means a bleak future for most humans and for ecosystems. At precisely the time that scientists say we should be phasing out oil and gas production, a bailout to this destructive industry is a giant step backwards.

A much smarter use for stimulus funds would be major investments in renewables and energy efficiency, industries that employ far more Americans than fossil fuels without harming the planet. If fossil-fuel workers are being displaced, they can be fast tracked into jobs growing these industries that are vital for our future.

Letís not repeat the mistakes of 2008. Emergency funds should be freed up for direct assistance to those workers and communities who need it most. In the longer term, stimulus funds should be used to build just and effective solutions for the other looming crisis humanity faces: the climate crisis.

Basav Sen directs the Climate Policy Project at the Institute for Policy Studies.

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Reply Don't use coronavirus to bail out oil and gas companies (Original post)
saidsimplesimon Mar 23 OP
Chainfire Mar 23 #1
sop Mar 23 #2

Response to saidsimplesimon (Original post)

Mon Mar 23, 2020, 11:42 AM

1. All of the mega businesses are going to get bailed out

Because they run the country through their bought and paid for representatives and senators. It is the way our "Representative Democracy" works.

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Response to saidsimplesimon (Original post)

Mon Mar 23, 2020, 12:09 PM

2. Notice how air quality over heavily populated areas, the pollution mostly caused by human activity

and the burning of oil, immediately improved after the mandated shutdowns began? It demonstrates just how quickly we could begin to reverse climate damage caused by using carbon-based fuels. In a saner world, one where extractive energy interests didn't control most economies and governments, we would use this worldwide crisis to support other forms of renewable energy, not bailout the oil companies.

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