As the Trump administration prepares to ask Congress for federal funds to help U.S. companies that are suffering as a result of the coronavirus epidemic, one proposed recipient of such aid has drawn sharp criticism, according to the Washington Post, which reports that oil and natural gas producers are on the White House list of targeted industries:
“The White House is strongly considering pushing federal assistance for oil and natural gas producers hit by plummeting oil prices amid the coronavirus outbreak, as industry officials close to the administration clamor for help, according to four people familiar with internal deliberations.
“White House officials are alarmed at the prospect that numerous shale companies, many of them deep in debt, could be driven out of business if the downturn in oil prices turns into a prolonged crisis for the industry. The federal assistance is likely to take the form of low-interest government loans to the shale companies, whose lines of credit to major financial institutions have been choked off, three people said.”
One of the energy producing companies hit hardest by the recent economic downturn just so happens to be owned by a prominent supporter of President Donald Trump, the Post notes:
“Continental Resources, founded by Harold Hamm, a Trump supporter and an adviser to the president on energy issues … lost more than half of its market value Monday, though it recovered about 8 percent by midday Tuesday. Hamm’s 77 percent personal stake in the company lost $2 billion of its value Monday.”
However, it seems highly unlikely that Congress would allocate funds to help bail out oil and gas producers, and reaction on social media to to such a plan was sharply against such a move. Take a look:
1. No bailouts for industries.
2. Targeted help for hospitals and the health care sector.
3. General relief directly to workers and families. The owners of capital have had a good decade and can weather a downturn; it’s labor that deserves a strengthened safety net.
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) March 10, 2020
Socialism for the Corporation and Rich
Cold, hard virus for the poor
— Bernie Sanders’s 4th House (@PotionKnights) March 10, 2020
Trump and his friends are going to try to grab as much taxpayer money as they can before he loses in November.
— Joyous Panther (@JoyousPanther) March 10, 2020
This is it. This is what I was worried about, and now it’s happening.
The Trump Administration is more worried about bailing out oil industry tycoons than SAVING THE LIVES OF ITS CITIZENS.
This is among the most shameful acts in American history. It must be stopped. https://t.co/FanwPV6xSR
— Eric Holthaus (@EricHolthaus) March 10, 2020
Holy shit. Trump is considering federal aid for SHALE COMPANIES. So excuse me if the next time I hear a Republican complain about SoCiaLiSm I tell them to go fuck themselves. https://t.co/jX7j457njo
— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) March 10, 2020
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