The Problem With Energy

Who knew that it was as much of a concern as it is?

By Gary S. Vasilash

Seventy-three percent of Americans worry—“a great deal/fair amount” about energy availability and affordability according to Gallup.

This is up from 54% in 2020.

And what is surprising is that Republicans and Democrats are probably closer on this this concern than anything else: 77% of Republicans are uneasy about energy affordability and 73% of Democrats.

According to the Energy Information Agency, the average price of a gallon of gas in the U.S. the last week of February 2020—before the lockdown—was $2.55 per gallon.

The average price of a gallon of gas in the U.S. the last week of February 2021—when things were lifting economically from the pandemic—was $2.71 per gallon.

And this from the EIA is worth noting: “In February 2021, OPEC+ cuts, combined with supply disruptions in the United States, contributed to monthly global petroleum inventory withdrawals that EIA estimates totaled 3.7 million b/d, the largest monthly withdrawal since December 2002. The Brent crude oil futures price averaged $63/b in early March leading up to the OPEC+ meeting, and the OPEC+ announcement put further upward pressure on crude oil prices.”

Yes, OPEC+ metering out their supply and a blizzard in Texas had consequences.

Another surprising stat from Gallup: 53% think there will be “a critical energy shortage” in the next five years.

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