Red Alert: Our Energy Situation Is Rapidly Devolving
Andy Snyder|November 1, 2022
It’s a good time to pray for a bit of global warming.
Without it… millions of Americans could be cold, broke and pissed off this winter.
Fuel supplies are running short, and now the nation’s leading suppliers are sounding the alarm. Up north, Evercore – New England’s biggest utility – is asking the president to declare an emergency. Down south… fuel shipper Mansfield has moved to “Alert Level 4.” For some products, it’s a “red alert,” as the “situation is rapidly devolving.”
But it’s no surprise.
The headlines are counting us down toward disaster. It’s like an Advent calendar of destruction.
There are just 25 days until the tanks run dry…
Now it’s 24…
Each day comes with its own little surprise. Rising prices. Trickery from Russia. Government ineptitude.
What’s happening is wholly predictable.
A war has been waged on crude and the economy-fueling products it is refined into. For years, ever-meandering regulations and rules have tightened the noose around the industry’s neck.
Refineries shut down because profit margins disappeared. Because of the reams of rules that must be followed, it was cheaper to shut down old facilities than it was to upgrade them.
And good luck building a new refinery…
Not only are firms unwilling to spend billions on units that may be regulated out of business in a decade… but the “not in my backyard” crowd has also made it nearly impossible to build refineries where they are needed most.
It’s created a countdown to trouble.
It’s like the old saying that we’re all just two catastrophes away from bankruptcy. If the alternator on the Buick gives out the same week the roof starts leaking… it’s big trouble.
Well… come on in, Mr. Putin.
When we combine decades of underinvestment and overregulation with reliance on our foreign enemies, we get energy bankruptcy.
In America, as you may know, we have plenty of crude under our feet… but we don’t have the refinery capacity to turn it into what we need. For that, we’ve long been relying on our overseas pals.
We import hundreds of millions of barrels of diesel, jet fuel and other distillates each year.
Right now, though, that trade – which amounts to 700,000 barrels per day – has been blown to smithereens.
It means we’re just one cold snap away from chattering teeth and savings-destroying energy prices.
Of course, diesel and its kissing cousin No. 2 fuel oil are ubiquitous throughout our economy.
It’s not just prices at the pump and cold temps inside we need to worry about.
Yes, we heat our homes… fuel our trucks… and power our trains with the stuff.
But it also runs our ships… powers our tractors… and fuels our military. It powers our drilling equipment… provides electricity… and fixes our roads. It runs our mines… builds our houses… and erects our skyscrapers.
Soaring fuel prices have hurt enough. Limiting supply will flat-out kill.
There’s some relief on the way. Ships are filling up and are inbound with big loads. But they’re not due into New York for another few weeks… and their cargo won’t reach end users until the end of November.
A cold snap, a fire or any other disruption in the meantime would wreak havoc.
The solution, of course, is a healthy dose of the free market. It would work wonders. The government shouldn’t decide who gets what or for how much… the market should.
It’ll be painful, sure, but beating any addiction hurts.
Some folks may go cold. Others will go broke. But the situation would fix itself.
That won’t happen, though. Oh my, no.
Ol’ Uncle Sam will step in and subsidize us out of this mess.
Free money will pass from one hand to the next. The problem will be pushed further down the line with more regulation and, who knows, maybe even a new energy czar.
Today’s opportunity will become tomorrow’s burden.
Eventually, we can only pray, all this global warming the world is fretting about will save us all.
For now, we remain quite bullish on the energy sector.
It’s like they say about land… They’re not making more of the stuff.
Isn’t that sad?
Andy Snyder is the founder of Manward Press, the nation’s premier source of unfiltered, unorthodox views on money and what it means for a free society. An American author, investor and serial entrepreneur, Andy cut his teeth at an esteemed financial firm with nearly $100 billion in assets under management. Andy and his ideas have been featured on Fox News, on countless radio stations, and in numerous print and online outlets. He’s been a keynote speaker and panelist at events all over the world, from four-star ballrooms to Capitol hearing rooms. Today, Andy’s dissident thoughts on life, liberty and investing can be found in his popular daily newsletter, Manward Financial Digest.