HOUSTON - Blindsided by the duel blow of a demand sapping pandemic and a global price war, much of America's oil and gas industry is buckling down for a survival fight.
As companies across the energy spectrum shed workers by the tens of thousands, Houston Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher has launched legislation aimed at easing the debilitating supply glut.
“I introduced a bill this week for the United States to buy $3 billion worth of oil for the strategic petroleum reserve,” said Fletcher.
While limited in scope, Fletcher says the purchase would send a critical signal of support to an industry in desperate need of relief.
“We have a bipartisan, bicameral effort. A lot of members from Texas, Oklahoma, but also North Dakota and folks from around the country who are supportive of this effort because we realize it is a smart and important thing to do,” said Fletcher.
With available storage rapidly evaporating, crude future contracts nose-dived Monday into negative territory for the first time ever.
It's Fletcher's hope the Federal purchase would help rebuild from scratch some degree of demand.
“It won't solve all the problems, but it will help with our producers who are feeling this incredible pressure right now and the folks who work throughout the industry,” said Fletcher.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, global demand for oil has dropped by an estimated 25 million barrels per day.