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Oil Price Up 3% as Summer Driving and Election Season Kicks Off

Analysis by Energy Workforce President Tim Tarpley

LNG export
Energy Workforce President Tim Tarpley

                Oil prices were up around 3% this week, driven by rising summer fuel demand.   This rising expected fuel demand is tempered by the fact that the dollar remains strong and that the U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to leave interest rates higher for longer.   Rates have been increasing since 2022 as the country recovers from the COVID situation.  On Monday, Brent futures rose 2.5%, and WTI rose 2.9%.   Many analysts continue to expect prices in the 3rd quarter to hover around 86 dollars. 

                We can expect energy and gas prices and energy policy generally to be an increasingly important topic as the campaign for President goes into full gear.   The Biden and Trump teams have agreed to hold two campaign debates, the first on June 27th, hosted by CNN, and the second on September 10th, hosted by ABC.  The CNN debate in June will be held in its Atlanta studios with no audience present, which is a break from past debates that were hosted by the now-defunct Commission on Presidential Debates.  This debate will be hosted directly by the network itself.  The debates will include both former President Trump and President Biden, along with any third-party challenger that can reach at least 15% in four separate national polls of registered or likely voters.    The only third-party candidate who could potentially meet that threshold would be Robert Kennedy, but it is not certain he will be able to make the cut.  President Biden had proposed banning third-party candidates entirely, but that proposal was rejected, and instead, both ABC and CNN agreed to the same thresholds and standards. 

Issues in the energy space that we can expect to come up in the debate in June are the Biden LNG pause, offshore leasing, and the war in Ukraine.   Biden will have to defend his administration’s current offshore leasing plan, which includes only one lease sale, the lowest in the program’s entire history.  In addition, given the continuation of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the resulting energy supply disruptions in Europe, the continuation of the LNG permitting “pause” will be increasingly difficult for the Biden Administration to justify.  We can expect former President Trump to hit President Biden on these issues during the debate and to call for more domestic production and lease sales. 

Tim Tarpley, Energy Workforce President, analyzes federal policy for the Energy Workforce & Technology Council. Click here to subscribe to the Energy Workforce newsletter, which highlights sector-specific issues, best practices, activities and more.



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