by Fiona Harvey Environment correspondent
Fossil fuel companies and coal-powered utilities in the US are set for a potential bonanza under federal government plans for a bond bailout, part of the rescue package for the coronavirus crisis.
At least 90 fossil fuel companies, many of them established giants such as ExxonMobil, Chevron and Koch Industries, stand to gain from the Federal Reserve’s coronavirus bond buyback programme, alongside more than 150 utilities including coal-heavy firms such as American Electric Power and Duke Energy, according to a new analysis.
The bond buyback scheme is expected to be worth at least $750bn (£605bn) altogether and to benefit thousands of companies by the end of September, and the size of the payout that could go to fossil fuels and utilities is as yet unknown. The scheme is to be discussed in the US Senate on Tuesday.