The U.S. Senate has approved a bill including $500 million in
loan guarantees for independent oil and gas producers and the
petroleum service industry. The loan guarantee program is part of
H.R. 1664, which is now on its way to a House/Senate conference
committee. The product of that committee will then be sent back to
both houses for ratification. The bill drew praise from the
Independent Petroleum Assoc. which called it a "tool that America's
oil and gas producers will be able to use to help them recover from
the recent devastating period of low oil prices." The group
credited Sen. Pete Dominici, R-NM for leading the initiative. Under
the program 85% of the loans of up to $10 million will be covered
by a government-backed repayment guarantee. The bill also
establishes a $1 billion loan program for the steel industry.
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