The demand for petrol and coal is on the rise once again in the US and have quickly returned to pre-pandemic levels as restrictions are lifted throughout the country.
What is Happening?
- Oil and petrol demand are rising and have already returned to pre-pandemic levels as the country opens back up with more motorists making a return to roads.
- The surge in the demand for oil is potentially a blow to Biden’s Clean Energy Plan, who pledged earlier this year to halve carbon emissions by 2030, as well as demanding 50% of all new cars in the country to be electric in the same timeline.
- Petrol demand fell dramatically in 2020 due to the pandemic and national lockdowns have caused people to remain at home. But numbers have already shown recovery as petrol consumption hit record levels of more than 10m barrels a day in July.
- The federal Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects daily averages to reach up to 8.8m barrels of petrol this year, which is about 10% higher than the year previously but still remained at levels lower than 2019. This is due to the fact many Americans have chosen to work remotely rather than return to offices.
- At the same time, the demand for coal is also making a comeback as a result of rising natural gas prices. The EIA predicts that coal consumption in US electricity generation will experience a 17% surge to 511.7 short tons this year and that carbon emissions from the energy sector will experience a “significant” growth.
- These can be troubling figures especially in the wake of the landmark climate report published by the IPCC, signifying how the planet is well on its way to surpassing 1.5 degrees Celsius increase compared to pre-industrial levels by 2030 and humanity is unequivocally to be the cause of climate change.
- There’s a hopeful sign however, as the EIA also does not foresee the rise of coal consumption to last through to 2022 as more thermal power plants will continue to retire.
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