Falling Oil Prices Breathe New Life Into An Old Idea: Nationalize The Industry
The world’s rapidly destabilizing climate, made worse by the industry’s decadeslong propaganda war, has made the oil companies prime targets for hostile takeovers, as they struggle to provide the good-paying jobs and economic stability they insisted was the necessary trade-off for trashing the atmosphere.
While history is littered with dozens of examples of governments taking command of oil production, particularly during times of turmoil, none have attempted what environmentalists now propose in the United States: Take over the oil industry to euthanize it.
The industry “was in a lot of trouble before the COVID-19 pandemic had a massive effect on the economy,” said Johanna Bozuwa, a researcher at the Cleveland-based Democracy Collaborative, a left-leaning think tank behind some of the most recent proposals to nationalize U.S. fossil fuel producers. Oil companies, particularly smaller producers, were already dealing with mounting debt and expanding portfolios of assets whose value would virtually evaporate overnight once countries adopt serious policies to curb climate-changing emissions, she said.