If you’ve been following the economic news, you know that inflation has generally subsided and employment has been strong. But in recent weeks, we have seen a rise in oil prices. Nationally, gasoline prices have risen almost a penny per day for the last month. In New England, wholesale heating oil prices have risen almost two pennies per day. What’s going on?
Saudi Arabia, Russia, and other OPEC countries continue to limit oil production in order to prop up crude oil prices. Yes, once again, it’s time to name names. Oil prices are not rising because of market forces or US energy policy. There are rising thanks to these gentlemen:
Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Russian President Vladimir Putin, representing the 2nd and 3rd largest oil producers in the world (US is #1)
This summer’s heat has been so extreme that oil refineries have had to cut back production because they don’t perform well when temperatures are above 95 degrees. Ironic, isn’t it?
Extreme heat all over, but particularly around the Gulf Coast, has caused concern about the potential for a bad hurricane season. When ocean temperatures rise, and they are now at record levels in Florida, storms become more powerful than they would be otherwise. This is an example of how not doing enough about the climate crisis costs us dearly.
Keep the Oil in the Ground
Even before this summer, the cost of oil (however you want to measure it) was plenty high enough. At the pump, in the home, in the hospital, and on the battlefield. That’s why studies show that when New England turns the spigot down on oil consumption, our economy and health both improve. After all, we’re buyers here, not sellers.
But as we have been saying for decades, we have alternatives to oil. Today the alternatives are better than ever. So, let’s do our best to choose electric vehicles and heat pumps. At Green Energy Consumers Alliance, we are here to help. And so is Uncle Sam, with generous incentives through the federal Inflation Reduction Act, which can be combined with state incentives.