There’s a bromance going on between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. It’s bizarre and has all kinds of serious implications for national security, foreign policy, human rights, and more. The focus of this blog is about how their shared agenda would have us relapse into a deeper addiction to petroleum.
For decades, the federal Clean Air Act has caused sulfur levels in electricity-generating gasoline and oil to fall dramatically. The results have been enormous. According to one study, the benefits of EPA regulations on sulfur (and nitrogen) have exceeded costs by 30 to 1. Most of these benefits have to do with public health.
After last winter’s relative warmth and Mass Energy/PP&L prices mostly under $2 per gallon, this year we’re experiencing colder weather and somewhat higher prices. Both the colder weather and today’s prices are still lower than ‘normal’ by historical standards. Here’s our take on what we see happening in the oil markets.
This heating season, not quite done, has been one for the record books. Huge amounts of snow, very cold weather, but also a big drop in oil prices compared to last year categorized the winter. And it’s been the best year for Mass Energy/People’s Power & Light Discount Heating Oil Service members in a long time. Compared to surveys conducted by the state energy offices in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, throughout this winter our members have paid 44 cents less than full-service dealer prices in Massachusetts and 35 cents less than full-service dealer prices in Rhode Island, after adjusting for heating degree days.
The Cost of Heating Oil
You may have noticed throughout the past few years that the cost of a service policy has gone up significantly. In the summer of 2013, Mass Energy looked around to see what was happening in the industry, and found that there had been a 19% increase* in the average renewal price for service contracts over the last 5 years. Why?
Over the weekend, we saw how political turmoil in Ukraine was followed by Russian military action. Today, we are seeing one result – sharply rising prices on the spot market for natural gas and oil. Heating oil has increased over 6 cents. Markets are responding as thousands of Russian troops solidified control over Crimea in the Ukraine. The U.S. warned Sunday that Moscow could face economic penalties unless it retreats.