Saturday April 11th… Dear Diary. The main purpose of this ongoing blog will be to track United States extreme or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials).😉
Main Topic: It’s High Time To Let Big Oil And Gas Fail
Dear Diary. As most of my readers know, big oil and gas energy companies have been subsidized by the U.S. government and big banks for decades. For those of you into free market capitalism, this is not a good thing. In the wake of coronavirus oil prices have fallen through the floor because no one is traveling, so much so that businesses dependent on fracking are becoming insolvent. Instead of big banks coming to the rescue once more, in lieu of the climate crisis, I say let them fail.
We do need to protect big oil and gas employees, though, as we transition towards necessary renewables. Let’s keep societal pain as low as possible, particularly in the wake of COVID-19. I wholeheartedly support new green job training programs for those wishing to stay in the energy sector. I’m also hoping for big companies like Shell to stay in business, only if they morph into renewable energy entities.
Here is more on today’s subject as detailed by Gizmodo:
Big Bank’s Latest zolan To Kill The Climate Is Taking Over Failing Oil And Gas Companies
By Dharna Noor
Before the coronavirus, the American oil and gas industry was struggling to keep its profits up. The pandemic exacerbated that, and now it’s doing way, way worse. Companies heavily dependent on fracking in Texas and Wyoming could go belly up.
According to Reuters, to avoid losses on the loans they made to fossil fuel companies that may go bankrupt, a group of large banks are preparing to take over the companies themselves. The banks include JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and Citigroup.
But wait! Aren’t these companies supposed to be climate leaders, now? In February, JP Morgan Chase made a bunch of splashy climate commitments, including a promise to no longer fund drilling in the Arctic. Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and Citigroup have all made noise about their sustainability pledges, too, saying they’ll invest in renewable energy and be more choosy about the energy projects they back.
If these financial institutions care so much about sustainability, they must understand that oil and gas have got to go, right? In theory, the banks could take over these companies and wind them down. But Reuters reports the banks are looking to put private equity companies like the Houston-based firm EnerVest at the helm of managing these companies and continuing to frack and extract oil and gas.
The plan neatly illustrates why, despite some pledges to not ruin the climate, we can’t trust banks to do good on their own. The problem is, the goal of private banks isn’t to take care of people and the planet (although in the long run, that’s a pretty good financial strategy). It’s to protect their investments. And their investments in the oil and gas industry have been considerable. According to Reuters, banks have kicked the American oil and gas industry $200 billion in loans leveraged against oil and gas reserves.
As a recent report shows, the four banks that are looking to take over energy companies, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citi, and Bank of America, are the four largest global backers of fossil fuels. To not lose money on those loans, banks will look to make those companies profitable—and unless officials stop them, they’ll probably take advantage of funds in the federal covid-19 stimulus package to do so.
In recent months, climate, environmental, and indigenous organizations with the Stop the Money Pipeline have been pushing banks and other Wall Street institutions to staunch the flow of money to fossil fuel companies. Now, with a bank takeover on the horizon, they’re pressuring federal lawmakers to prevent stimulus bill funding from being used to bail out fossil fuel producers.
The planned takeover couldn’t come at a more absurd time. We need to wean ourselves off fossil fuels as soon as possible, and now is the perfect time to do so. And given the obvious trouble oil and gas companies are in and how cheap it it is to borrow money, there’s never been a better time to wind down production and retire all their assets.
Staff writer, Earther
More from Gizmodo
Now, here are some of todays articles on the horrendous coronavirus pandemic:
Here is more climate and weather news from Saturday:
(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity. In most instances click on the pictures of each tweet to see each article.)
Here is a big “ET” report from Cuba:
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Guy Walton “The Climate Guy”