Extreme Temperature Diary- December 19th, 2018/ Topic: An Oil Glut…Good News For Consumers But Bad For The Climate


Wednesday December 19th… Dear Diary. The main purpose of this ongoing post will be to track United States extreme or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials)😊. 

An Oil Glut… Good News For Consumers But Bad For The Climate

I did a double take yesterday not seeing something for years… gasoline prices slightly below two dollars a gallon at a couple of local Georgia filling stations. What great news for travelers just a few days before Christmas. Also, what a boon for economies relying on cheap energy not only here but worldwide. Well….yes, but nature will say that you can either pay me now or later with a lot more interest. I’m posting on gasoline and crude oil trends today since I feel that this news is falling through the proverbial cracks on other current climate related posts.

Technological breakthroughs of both finding new areas to drill and fracking have brought us to this point in December 2018. I’ll dub this the “FF” for the Finding and Fracking effect…You can use some other four letter word starting with the letter F for “FF.”😉  A nation addicted to oil for transportation now seeing gasoline prices at $2 a gallon, not being this low for many years, won’t have any impetus for switching to more expensive electrics. In fact, trends I’ve been spying in the automotive industry, such as the scraping of the Chevy Volt and increasing sales of larger SUVs, mirror declining fuel prices.

Here are some charts showing trends:


On the third Gas Buddy chart notice the steep decline in gasoline prices from $2.90 to about $2.37 just since early December. Some of this price lowering admittedly is due to seasonal variations because of lower fuel quality standards during cold months when ozone concerns are not in play. It’s no wonder, though, that the New York Times has come out with this article posted yesterday: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/18/business/energy-environment/oil-prices.html

Quoting this article:

HOUSTON — Oil prices tumbled more than 7 percent on Tuesday, falling to their lowest levels in more than a year, after investors learned that Russia and the United States were pumping a lot more oil than had been expected. 

The American benchmark fell below $47 a barrel for the first time in 15 months, capping a slide that has brought prices down by more than a third since early October. 

Bountiful, cheap oil supplies are an unanticipated holiday bonus for American consumers. The average price of regular gasoline has fallen to $2.37 a gallon, according to the AAA motor club, 26 cents lower than a month ago. For most of the year gasoline prices were rising, but the recent decline in oil prices has driven gasoline down by about a nickel a gallon compared with a year ago.

Oil prices had stabilized earlier this month when the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia agreed to slash production by 1.2 million barrels a day. But Russia announced on Monday that its output had increased to more than 11.4 million barrels a day, a record, putting in doubt its commitment to coordinate policies with Saudi Arabia and other oil producers.

Oh, and trends for oil production globally have not stabilized at all. Keep in mind that anything drilled will eventually be put in the atmosphere. Production has more than made up for increasing demand according to EIA, the U.S. Energy Information Administration https://www.eia.gov/outlooks/steo/report/global_oil.php:


Also, think about the increase in the number of internal combustion engines( ICEs) worldwide the last few years. Here are trends on all individual vehicle ownership rates from the European Environment Agency: https://www.eea.europa.eu/data-and-maps/figures/car-ownership-rates-projections


Now think about the oil glut due to “FF” fueling those hungry engines, most of which are ICEs. This is more unfortunate news, which I don’t think my climate friends are swallowing too well, perhaps having some denial of their own. We may need to rethink how fast carbon levels will go up in the atmosphere considering low gasoline prices, no “peak oil” year looming for decades, and plenty of hungry for money petrol states like Saudi Arabia, the United States, Russia, and soon to be Brazil, basically in control of energy markets. Without some sort of worldwide control to leave petrol in the ground my bottom line message today is that the Climate War will be lost. O.k. friends, leave me messages convincing me otherwise, and I will add them to this post…please!


Here is some other climate and weather news from Wednesday: 

(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity.)


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The Climate Guy

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