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US companies plan to increase crude oil production to record levels by 2024

The US Energy Information Agency projects US will break crude oil production records by 2024. Market impacts and consequences for the climate....

Fracking explained

By 2024, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects that the country will produce a record breaking 12.81 million barrels of oil a day, up from the current average of 11.86 million.

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This news comes after the Russian invasion of Ukraine upended energy markets, and US companies look to fill the gap created by European sanctions against the Kremlin. The White House also hopes that by incentivizing production, consumers in the US will see prices at the pump fall to levels paid before the pandemic. The Biden administration has offered a deal to producers, saying that federal government will buy millions of barrels from them to refill that national strategic reserve, if they are able to bring down the price to around $70/barrel.

The EIA expects these increases in production to reduce the Brent crude oil price by around eighteen percent this year compared to last. The impact for drivers will apparent with gasoline prices projected to fall from nearly $4/gallon in 2022 to $3.30/gallon in 2023 and $3.10/gallon in 2024.

Announcement comes as communities around the world grapple with extreme weather

Extreme flooding in Pakistan, California, and New Zealand, are just a few reminders of how the devastating impacts climate change will bring to communities all over the world. As emissions grow the probability that current generations are able to keep warming under 1.5ºC becomes less likely. Scientists have warned that warming above this level carries untold consequences and will do irreparable damage to the world’s ecosystems.

The massive flooding events across Pakistan in October 2022 impacted more than thirty-three million people and left an area the size of the United Kingdom submerged under several feet of water. The severe weather had devastating humanitarian consequences, leaving more than fourteen million people dependent on emergency food aid delivered through the World Food Program. The UN agency has reported a funding gap of $108 million, which must be closed “to prevent further deterioration in the food security situation and an impending humanitarian crisis.” To date, no governments have stepped up to provide this aid.

While the recent storms in California are were not caused by climate change, the dryer-than-normal conditions seen in the state over the past two decades contributed significantly to the damage caused. Climate scientists have reported their concern with the rapid increase in the number and scale of wildfires across the state. In 2020, the levels recorded were closer to what many climate models had projected the state would experience in the latter half of this century. The intensity of drought conditions and fires are thought to be made worse by climate change, and such conditions can leave the ground unable to absorb water as much water, which can make high-rain fall events more catastrophic. Researchers across the state worry that rapid fluctuations between dry and wet periods may become more frequent over the coming decades, warning that, “future generations have huge problems ahead of them.”

Shifting the blame to climate change

However, what public leaders should avoid is blaming climate change for their own failures to ensure that the state’s infrastructure is able to handle normal weather events. As a country’s roads, bridges, waterways, levee systems and other critical infrastructure age and begin to fail, there may be a temptation to say that the devastation was unavoidable. These excuses should not be tolerated because climate change is by no means justifies political failures that lead to avoidable deaths. Climate scientists have and will continue to equip policy makers with a mountain of data the impact increased emissions will have on the climate, making failures to protect residents a negation of responsibility by the political establishment.


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