The Trump administration has taken dozens of actions during the Covid-19 pandemic to benefit the oil and gas industry, such as opening new lands for leasing, watering down environmental protections, cutting royalty rates on federal lands, among a long list of other actions. But one of the more consequential interventions came from the Federal Reserve. In March, when financial markets went into a tailspin, the U.S. Congress authorized the Federal Reserve to inject trillions of dollars into financial markets. That included the capacity to lend directly to individual sectors and companies in the real economy, along with indirect purchasing of bonds to specific sectors. In other words, the Fed was authorized to buy tens of billions of dollars in corporate bonds in the energy industry, in addition to direct lending to companies themselves. The problem is that the Fed may be propping up an industry that was struggling before […]