Opinion: Independence From Russian Oil Means Transition to Clean Energy

Bridget Mulroy

A greener future may be coming sooner rather than later.(@YangPhoto/iStock)

As the Russian-Ukrainian War wages on, the prices of oil by the barrel continue to fluctuate. Mentions of peace talks bring the price per barrel down as talks of war bring prices up. This disproportion of prices has only continued to create uncertainty.

Russia was responsible for about 40% of the oil within the global circulation. Now that Russia is considered “completely out” of the market, this will drive the prices of competitors’ oil barrels up. Market analysts speculate prices rising to about $200 per barrel, according to Rystad Energy in Norway. Norway has profited significantly from the new-found dependence on European-sourced energy since the war broke out almost a month ago. Europe depended much more heavily on Russian oil than the United States.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) has made it clear that the fluctuations in oil prices will be consistent for weeks if not months to come. While the United States has paid significantly high prices for gasoline over the last few weeks, there is officially no sign of equilibrium within the foreseeable future.

When it comes to what is acceptable to be sold to refineries, there is a standard. “Europe's Brent crude oil, the U.S. WTI crude oil, and OPEC's reference basket are three of the most important benchmarks used by traders as reference for oil and gasoline prices,” according to Statista. Since the war has begun and Russia’s oil has been condemned, the qualities of oil available provided by the other global powers have sent the market into a frenzy.

Since Russia contributed to nearly half of the market’s oil, the rest of the world is currently struggling to keep up with demand. This struggle to meet demand is what has been driving the price of oil per barrel up. Talk of $200 per barrel to keep demand down is the last straw by all definitions.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine, prices of oil have been more inconsistent than ever. Over the last three weeks alone, oil per barrel has been as high as $123 per barrel and as low as $95 per barrel. This recent divergence has created uneasiness about the future, putting it mildly.

To some, that may seem like discerning news, but to others, there is opportunity. Since Russia is no longer considered within the nations’ oil global circulation, the only solution to avoiding an economic spiral is to fill the gap.

Renewable energy is the best-proven method in combatting global tensions as well as the climate crisis. Nuclear energy can not make up for fossil fuels and it won’t carry the world over the climate crisis hump. There could potentially be a silver lining to this international catastrophe; since about half of the world’s supply of fuel is no longer available, we are forced to rely on green energy.

Up until recently, many would have hesitated toward such a committed shift but we are left with very little choice. If we don’t make the transition, gas prices will continue to soar and the health of our planet will continue to suffer. Green energy suddenly isn’t so bad since we have nothing else to fall back on. With the decline in resources, life will continue to change. How we as humans allow that change to impact us will only be as debilitating as the resources we have to combat it.

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Hi, I’m Bridget, I’m very good at making people think. You’ve encountered my work if you have read/watched News12. NewsBreak has awarded me on publications supported by you, so THANK YOU!

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