Oil and gas companies exploit coronavirus to roll back environmental regulations

The collapse in fuel demand caused by the pandemic means countries across the global south should rethink decisions to let energy companies extract oil and gas, a new report says.

Struck by a fall in demand for their fuel and anxious about a volatile energy market, oil and gas companies are lobbying governments for public funds and weaker environmental regulations.

Leading firms have lost an average of 45% of their value since the coronavirus crisis started and are demanding government bailouts, buyouts and regulatory rollbacks that strip away environmental protections, a report published Thursday by the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) has found.

Even before the pandemic struck, the authors wrote, the industry showed “clear signs of systemic weakness.” Now, the twin shocks of collapsed fuel demand from the pandemic and low oil prices from a price war could push it to breaking point. […]

Political agenda’

In Canada, petroleum producers are negotiating a multibillion-dollar bailout package and calling to delay a rise in the federal carbon tax. In Australia and the UK,[…]

In the US, […]

Compounding weaknesses

The CIEL report details how the industry crisis builds on existing pressures on oil expansion in countries like Guyana, Argentina and Mozambique.[…]

Full story at Deutsche Welle

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