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Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette said in a Tuesday conference call that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is considering loans and emergency lending through the Federal Reserve for small- and medium-sized oil producers, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: The collapse in oil prices as the coronavirus pandemic crushes demand is creating financial jeopardy for many independent companies and industry layoffs are mounting.

  • But a number of Democrats and environmentalists oppose propping up the sector.

What's next: President Trump told reporters at the White House Wednesday that the plan would be announced "shortly." Bloomberg reports that Brouillette and Mnuchin have already briefed Trump on it.

Threat level: The latest sign of jeopardy for U.S. producers, many of whom were already struggling before the crash, comes via Reuters.

  • "Chesapeake Energy Corp, the oil and gas exploration and production company that was at the forefront of the past decade’s U.S. shale boom, is preparing a potential bankruptcy filing as it grapples with an unprecedented rout in energy prices," Reuters reports.

Go deeper

Amy Harder, author of Generate
Aug 6, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Coronavirus hastens Big Oil's Atlantic divide on climate change

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The pandemic is accelerating a divide between European and American oil companies over climate change and clean energy.

Why it matters: Bottom lines and investor returns will be vastly different across the corporate spectrum depending on how aggressively the world tackles climate change in the coming decades.

Collins helps contractor before pro-Susan PAC gets donation

Sen. Susan Collins during her reelection campaign. Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

A PAC backing Sen. Susan Collins in her high-stakes reelection campaign received $150,000 from an entity linked to the wife of a defense contractor whose firm Collins helped land a federal contract, new public records show.

Why it matters: The executive, Martin Kao of Honolulu, leaned heavily on his political connections to boost his business, federal prosecutors say in an ongoing criminal case against him. The donation linked to Kao was veiled until last week.

How cutting GOP corporate cash could backfire

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Companies pulling back on political donations, particularly to members of Congress who voted against certifying President Biden's election win, could inadvertently push Republicans to embrace their party's rightward fringe.

Why it matters: Scores of corporate PACs have paused, scaled back or entirely abandoned their political giving programs. While designed to distance those companies from events that coincided with this month's deadly siege on the U.S. Capitol, research suggests the moves could actually empower the far-right.

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