White House

White House Considers Providing Federal Aid to Oil Companies in Face of Financial Crisis

The sun sets behind an oil pump outside Saint-Fiacre, France, September 17, 2019. (Christian Hartmann/Reuters)

Sources are signaling that President Trump could push for federal funds to assist oil and natural gas producers affected by a steep decline in global oil prices, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

Shale companies were hammered on Monday as the price for oil suffered the sharpest one-day drop in almost 30 years. The White House is worried that with credit drying up, the industry could enter a serious decline without assistance, and is gauging whether to offer government loans to slow the bleeding.

Harold Hamm, a Trump supporter and founder of Continental Resources, lost $2 billion dollars on Monday as the stock market fell over seven percent, its worst day since the 2008 financial crisis. He told the Post in an interview that he had reached out to the White House, but did not make “direct” contact.

“I don’t want to prescribe what the president would or shouldn’t do. He’s very capable of handling this situation,” he said, adding that he was worried “how this could jeopardize those jobs and the economies in producing states and communities across America from Pennsylvania to California and Texas to North Dakota.”

Trump said Monday in a press conference that the administration would be helping seriously affected parts of the economy, and was meeting with Republicans Tuesday to discuss efforts.

“This was something that we were thrown into and we’re going to handle it, and we have been handling it,” he said.

Some Republicans have been getting nervous over the White House’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak, with White House officials have privately expressing their concerns that Trump’s initial comments on the virus were spreading panic.

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