Recently, oil prices have taken a nosedive. The price of a barrel of oil is half of what it was only 6 months ago. I have ambivalent feelings about this when I think of the impact at the moment and in the future.
I like the lower price of gasoline as much as the next person. Yesterday I topped up my gas tank, which I do when it gets to about half (a good practice in this frozen country). It was only $15 and change! A few short months ago it would have cost me $23 or so! My pocketbook likes that. Does that mean that I can afford to galavant all over the countryside just because it’s cheaper? No, I don’t think so. Why would I want to spew more polluting carbons into the atmosphere?
But I’m hoping, I’m REALLY hoping that the lower price of a barrel of oil will impact the production of oil in Canada. Yes, OPEC – 1, Canada -0. In fact, it already has. The giant (mostly foreign owned) oil producers have already cut back, way back on production. The ripple effect is being felt in the entire industry. Unfortunately, those people who work in this oil industry are paying the price with losing their jobs. I feel really sorry about that. I know someone has to “take one for the team” and the “little guy” is it.
Something near and dear to my heart is the opposition to the Energy East Pipeline which is proposed to run from the Alberta oil sands across the county, right past my home (a couple kilometers away, and through the river that my home sits beside), to the east coast where it will be shipped overseas. The plummet in the oil prices might be the death knell to the Energy East Pipeline project proposal because it may not be profitable. Yeah!
With the cheap price of gasoline in North America now, does that mean that people will buy bigger vehicles (SUVs) and drive like there’s no tomorrow? The sale of SUVs has never been more robust. This is bad news for our environment. With more carbons being spewed into the atmosphere, climate change will proceed more rapidly and we can expect more extreme weather.
There’s not much I can do about anything. In fact, I can’t do a single thing about the price of a barrel of oil or Alberta oil or the Energy East pipeline or the increased production of SUVs. I can simply choose to continue to respect our environment, drive my old Honda as little as possible, and use less oil products.