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Mike’s Musings: High cost of energy fuels inflation

Inflation is at a 40-year high in the United States. Prices that were stable a year have taken a 7.5% jump. Going to the grocery store has put a strain on most of our pocketbooks. Used cars are 41 percent higher than a year ago, and new cars, if you can find them, are much higher as well.
But the item that affects us and I the most is the astronomical price of oil. I do a lot of driving and the near $3.50 I’m paying at the pump is killing my bank account. A few weeks ago, it was $3.20, but now $3.50, with many expecting $4.00 a gallon soon, partially due to the impending Russian-Ukrainian conflict.
And then is the home heating situation. My house is heated by propane, and much like gasoline, the price of propane has skyrocketed. I suspect I will be paying nearly double this year to heat my home. That doesn’t thrill this penny-pincher.
Of course most of this could be averted if we opened the Keystone pipeline, and stopped feeling the need to defend the Ukraine.
The Keystone pipeline, which pumped oil from Canada into the United States was shut down immediately by Biden on the first week of his presidency as a gesture to environmentalists who helped him get elected. The United States, thanks to the pipeline, was the largest oil producer in the world. The U.S. was a major supplier to their NATO allies. That all changed with the signing of the Executive Order that closed the Keystone. Instead of suppling the world with oil, we as a nation were dependent on Russia and Middle Eastern countries to supply us.
I believe we could put a major dent in inflation by simply opening the Keystone again. I believe you would see gas prices plummet to $2.50 to $2.80. But for whatever reason, the powers that be would prefer our current inflation to lower gas prices.
Secondly I’m not a big fan of getting involved in the Russian/Ukraine conflict. One of the major reasons is that since the Keystone was shuttered, Russia has become a major oil supplier to us. We simply don’t have a lot of leverage, in my opinion, with Putin and his minions. And our allies, NATO, which we are supposedly bolstering Ukraine, to protect them, are enormously dependent on Russia’s oil.
Oil prices could go through the roof and for what? I’m sorry but the U.S. has not done very well in conflicts we have entered the last half a century. We ran with our tail between our legs from Viet Nam. Ditto Afghanistan. What an embarrassing situation that was.
Frankly, if Putin wants to annex Ukraine, there is very little the U.S. can do about it, short of all out war. His forces and equipment are far superior to Ukraine’s and some experts believe he can invade and capture the bulk of the country in a matter of a few days.
But I am digressing. The price of oil is my concern, and our leaders must address its rapid rise, over and above any other problem the U.S. might have. Energy and its high costs have fueled inflation. If we want oil prices and thus inflation to decrease and the world hotspots to be stabilized, our leaders must address the price of oil now. One easy solution is to open up the Keystone Pipeline

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