This, yesterday, from the MIT Technology Review:
Trump is considering a fossil fuel bailout, amid coronavirus worries
The Trump administration is “strongly considering” pushing a bailout package for US oil and natural-gas companies, as plummeting fuel prices and the coronavirus outbreak hammer the industry, the Washington Post reported on Tuesday.
The details: The aid would likely take the form of low-interest government loans to shale drillers, the newspaper reported, citing sources familiar with the White House discussions. That would throw a lifeline to a heavily indebted industry with increasingly limited access to private capital. Analysts say this week’s historic plunge in oil prices, if sustained, could force major US players into a battle for survival.
Criticisms: The proposal was quickly criticized by climate and energy observers. They argue that federal aid for the energy sector should go toward clean technologies that could help combat climate risks, rather than propping up fossil-fuel companies.
Republican support for the idea would stand in sharp contrast to conservative criticisms of the Obama administration’s efforts to support renewables companies in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.
In related news: The oil and gas proposal follows President Trump’s announcement Monday that the administration would work to support other sectors rocked by the escalating public health crisis, including airlines, cruise ships, and hotels. It also comes at the same time that an effort to pass a bipartisan climate and clean energy bill seems to be unraveling.
Questionable priorities: The administration has moved rapidly to aid businesses despite a lackadaisical response to the spread of the virus itself. After early warnings from the devastating outbreak in China, the federal government largely failed to prepare for the coming crisis, health experts say. Among other issues, the US is way behind other nations in testing. Trump himself has consistently downplayed the risks and spread erroneous advice and information.
Doesn’t it just figure that in a crisis, the first people Trump uses our money to help are his wealthy friends in the fossil fuel industry? Those who should, in truth, be using their vast wealth to help the rest of us, instead are likely to receive help while we founder. Gee, thanks Donnie.
Since the first news of the coronavirus, Trump has lied to the public. Over and over and over. He has made it all about him, for in his narrow world, everything must be about him. He claimed it was a media hoax to try to ‘bring him down’. He claimed the coronavirus was nothing more than a common cold. Then most recently he claimed that reporters were trying to catch the virus so that they could pass it on to him on Air Force One. He claimed that he knew more than the scientists. He told the public there were plenty of test kits and anybody who wished to could be tested. All of which were lies. But now, it appears, he has found a new way to use this pandemic to his benefit.
At a rally in South Carolina, he renewed his call for a ‘wall’ on the southern border, intimating that the coronavirus had come to the U.S. through immigration, though Mexico has a far lower occurrence rate than the U.S. And this morning, Trump met with only republican senators to pitch the idea of payroll tax cuts that would largely benefit only higher paid workers … surprise. If there is a way to turn this crisis into a benefit for Trump, he’s hellbent and determined to find it. At what cost? Well, let’s just say that reducing revenue and increasing costs … can only increase the national debt and deficit at an even faster pace. Sooner or later, the piper must be paid, folks.
In other news …
Harvey Weinstein, the notorious abuser of women who was the catalyst for the #MeToo movement, has been sentenced to 23 years in prison for sexually assaulting two women in New York. Weinstein still faces charges in Los Angeles, which could add to his prison sentence. Given that he is now 67 years old, I think we can safely say we will all be safe from Mr. W. However, there are many more like him out there, men who truly seem to believe that women were put on this earth for little purpose other than their pleasure. At the risk of sounding cruel, I frankly hope Mr. Weinstein gets a bit of his own treatment while he’s in prison.