U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, yesterday requested U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin ensure that federal loans are made available to domestic oil and gas companies being affected by both reduced global demand and oversupply from the Saudi Arabia-Russia price war. A provision in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act authorizes the Treasury Department to support businesses not traditionally eligible for federal loans.
“There is no question that one of the hardest hit industries—and one of the most critical to Alaska—is the oil and gas sector,” Murkowski wrote. “Producing companies and the businesses that contract with them are being impacted not only by the market demand shock from the coronavirus, but also the Russia-Saudi Arabia power struggle against American energy. The President has stressed the importance of supporting industries with employees and footprints across the country. This includes the oil and gas sector, which by one estimate supports more than 10 million American jobs.”
Read the full text of the letter here.
This is the fifth in a series of letters Murkowski has signed, as she works to protect American jobs and boost American energy independence. She joined her colleagues in asking the Saudi Crown Prince to calm the markets; requesting that Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross investigate the oil dumping by Russia and Saudi Arabia; urging Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to take a more aggressive stance against the Saudi-Russian price war; and asking Energy Information Administrator Linda Capuano to prioritize petroleum storage data and collection.
Murkowski is Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.