The world is caught between gas prices and climate change

The result is an epic dilemma of addiction to the oil that drives the world economy. President Joe Biden announced a new plan on Thursday which he said would address all of the above by increasing short-term oil availability, improving vehicle fuel economy and ensuring access to components used in electric vehicle batteries, while working to get out of oil in the future.

More now, less later. “Look, the bottom line is this,” Biden said at the White House. “Between increasing production in the short term and reducing demand in the long term, we can break free from our dependence on imported oil from around the world.”

Biden’s plan to lower gas prices

The President authorizes the release of an unprecedented 1 million barrels of oil per day (180 million barrels total) from the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

He also wants oil companies to increase production and for Congress to punish companies that don’t produce on federal land.

Will these moves work to lower prices?

Even Biden admits he really doesn’t know, and how global oil markets perform will largely depend on how much other oil producers add, or don’t add. to its production.

At most, he said that we are seeing a reduction in costs of 10 cents to 35 cents per gallon when additional oil effect is activated in the market. The national average for regular gasoline it was $4.24 on Wednesday, which was lower than the record set in early March.

Caught between ambition and reality

CNN Senior Climate Editor Angela Fritz told me that Biden is “caught between progressive ambition to take meaningful climate action and the reality that the United States remains extremely dependent on fossil fuels and people want cheap gasoline.”

That does not mean that there are no advances in renewable and clean energy. Fritz pointed out that wind and solar energy generated a record amount of the world power in 2021.
CNN has previously reported that people in the US are clearly dissatisfied with energy policyprobably due to high gas prices.
As a balm for the long-term problem of climate change, Biden said Thursday that he would invoke the defense production law to stimulate domestic production of critical minerals needed to make batteries for electric vehicles and long-term energy storage.
This is an important step as Biden has warned China has come to control much of the world market for these minerals.

Meanwhile, the climate crisis is taking its toll.

‘Delay means death’

just a few days later Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last month, the United Nations warned in a alarming new report that the world is running out of ways to adapt to the climate crisis.

“The facts are undeniable. This abdication of leadership is criminal,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a statement. “The world’s biggest polluters are to blame for the arson attack on our only home.”

He also said “current events” showed the world was too reliant on fossil fuels, calling them “a dead end”, in an apparent reference to Ukraine’s conflict and energy crisis.

Evidence of the climate crisis

Fritz pointed out that reservoirs on the Colorado River are drying up, threatening the water supply for more than 40 million people. We are already seeing the beginnings of how this will play out in Western cities and towns: Jurisdictions that have water are going to start cutting people off. Corporations are buying up land with water rights so they can make a profit for years to come.
Forecasters predicted extreme western drought to push east this spring, and we’re seeing that unfold now. is driving to extreme fire risk in the central US: more than 700 fires burned about 164,000 acres in Texas in March. “Even a few degrees of warming can make a big difference,” one expert told CNN’s climate team.

Thawed Antarctica

Fritz also pointed to reports this week of a change in Antarctica, which has so far been less affected by the climate crisis than its Arctic counterpart.

Sea ice around the South Pole continent has been relatively stable, but fell to a record low this year. And then this month, temperatures on the Antarctic Plateau soared to 70 degrees hotter than normal. While that was happening, a previously stable ice shelf disintegrated.

Why do we care about Antarctica? There is so much ice on the continent, if even a fraction of it melts, the world could see sea level rise of several feet.

The daily reality of people.

However, Antarctica is very far away and many Americans could be more focused on the cost of Arriving at work.

Why is California gasoline so expensive? Oil markets are complicated, and it turns out that $6 a gallon for gasoline in California has a lot to do with an unscheduled outage in important one production plant in Torrance. Read this story from CNN’s Chris Isidore.

Biden sought to place much of the blame for rising gasoline prices on Russian President Vladimir Putin for invading Ukraine, saying it is worth the price to take on the autocrat.

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