Demand keeps gas prices high

Editor’s note: On June 15, we published a story regarding the apparent/suspected causes behind soaring gas prices. Part II was published June 29. The following is the third and final part to this story. 
 The price of crude oil per barrel slumped to under $100 per barrel on Tuesday, July 5 as fear of global recession looms over energy markets.
 According to Yahoo Finance US, that doesn’t mean the price of gas will plummet, although there has been minimal relief at the pumps in parts of the country.
 In Idaho, prices haven’t slacked much at $5.24 per gallon on Tuesday, with diesel hovering around $5.65 per gallon.
 The national average for regular gasoline is $4.77 a gallon compared to an all-time high of $5.03 on June 16, but motorists are still paying an exorbitant price for fuel.
 The relief nationally could be short lived if demand continues.
 Prices need to get worse before consumers change their driving habits, according to Vectis Energy Partners principal Tamar Essner.
 “I think prices have to go quite a bit higher in order to see demand destruction,” he said. “What that magical number is I don’t know because we are in unprecedented times in terms of having this build of demand post COVID at the same time because of stimulus and higher disposable.”
 The Biden administration blames the current situation on the oil companies and the war in Ukraine, and the oil companies blame the administration for trying to destroy their industry.
 If that is the case, climate change is justification for the search for a cleaner energy source. Whether you buy into the popular theory that climate change is 100 percent human caused, it does seem to exist, and environmentalists are pushing hard to end our dependency on oil and gas, the apparent biggest contributing factors to the problem.
 Electric car companies, such as Tesla, are attempting to meet demand for a solution, but are electric cars the answer?
 Electric cars help reduce the amount of CO2 in the air, but there are other questions regarding range, cost to recharge, the time it takes to recharge, and vehicle cost. 
 The cars are powered by batteries. What about the pollution created through the manufacturing process, and where will all those batteries go when they have reached the end of their life spans? 
 A 2018 article by The Western Journal features a study published by the Manhattan Institute that claims, “electric vehicles increase the amount of pollution into the atmosphere compared to new internal combustion vehicles.” The study is called, “Short Circuit: The High Cost of Electric Vehicle Subsidies.”
 “Jonathan Lesser, president of Continental Economics and author of the study collected various data to estimate the overall impact of such electric vehicles,” stated Western Journal author Jason Hopkins in his article. “Referencing the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Lesser forecasted the number of new electric cars through 2050. He also estimated the amount of electricity they’d consume and how much pollution that electricity would create. He then compared this data to the amount of emissions new gasoline-powered vehicles would create.”
 Lesser found two major causes supporting his assertion that electric vehicles are more detrimental to the environment: “the rampant misconception of EVs and their effect on the environment: incorrect comparisons and a lack of awareness about the amount of electricity EVs consume.
 “The appropriate comparison … isn’t the difference between an electric vehicle and an old gas-guzzler; it’s the difference between an electric car and a new gas car. And new internal combustion engines are really clean,” Lesser wrote in a Politico article about his findings.
 “Today’s vehicles emit only about 1 percent of the pollution that they did in the 1960s, and new innovations continue to improve those engines’ efficiency and cleanliness.”
 Electric vehicles may end up being the answer in the long term as technology advances, but there are still a lot of questions and the answers are not quite clear.


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