GOLDSTEIN: Reports of the ‘death of oil’ greatly exaggerated


When former Green Party leader Elizabeth May and Bloc Quebecois leader Yves-François Blanchet simultaneously declared the “death of oil” at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, they revealed a fundamental misunderstanding of the law of supply and demand. They weren’t the only ones. Back then you couldn’t read a newspaper in print or online, or watch or listen to a newscast, without someone airily proclaiming the death of oil. Today, little more than a year later, the cost of a barrel of oil is selling at seven-year highs. The concern now is not about an oil glut, but a global shortage, along with shortages of natural gas and coal — the two other fossil fuels — driving up the cost of living as we head into winter. That’s the law of supply and demand. Proclaiming the death of oil at the start of the pandemic was foolish because the reason oil prices crashed was the global recession caused by the pandemic. […] In recessions, people have less money to spend so they buy fewer of the goods and services fossil fuel energy helps to create, manufacture, grow and transport.

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