A Climate Bailout Is a Big Finance Bailout
Experts have been warning for years about the risks of a growing carbon bubble that, should it pop, would result in stranded assets and job losses across the fossil fuel industry. On Monday, those predictions took a few steps closer to reality. An industry that has been in decline for a decade, for reasons that predate COVID-19, saw the price to purchase a barrel of crude oil drop into negative territory for the first time in history.
In this moment, our climate and economic crises are converging. Although the Federal Reserve has largely disclaimed any role in combating climate change, the oil and gas industry is reportedly now lobbying our nation’s central bank for access to subsidized loans. The Fed has a singular opportunity to be on the right side of history by preventing a climate bailout for the fossil fuel industry, and protecting the economy and our people from climate shocks as we recover from COVID-19.