Please do not vote to bailout the fossil fuel industry.
I’m aware that the fossil fuel industry is looking for stimulus funds, even more relaxed environmental regulations beyond what the Trump EPA has already done, and asking the government to top off the strategic petroleum reserve, among other efforts. I’m asking you today to combat them.
In her piece entitled, “Bailing out the oil industry brings a fate worse than death,” Megan Green writes for the Financial Times: “…the business model for many exploration and production companies was broken before oil prices fell. Fueled by cheap credit, US shale producers borrowed heavily to invest in drilling, causing the US energy bond market to triple in size over the past decade. The focus has been on producing quantity to conquer market share and the flood of oil has yielded low returns for equity investors, as frackers reinvested windfalls and raised top executive pay. US fracking pioneer Chesapeake Energy, for example, hasn’t generated a single year of positive free cash flow in the past decade. As debts rose along with oil supplies, a shakeout was inevitable. A bailout would throw good money after bad… A backhanded industry argument for a bailout is that bankruptcies threaten investors and banks with big losses. That’s the nature of capitalism.”
The government should focus any efforts on supporting energy workers and their families, not propping up already dying companies.