One of the most concerning things in our world today is that “climate change remains an issue with little political power” (Weisman & Ulloa, 2022). It has been brought up in many elections in the past but has been shrugged off as a less pressing issue countless times. This is a huge issue now more than ever as people have been exhausted by the pandemic and disappointed by the government, which has shown to stunt climate action. Climate action is quite the opposite of what people have deemed it to be. It’s not a “tomorrow problem,” it’s a now problem, even a yesterday problem. People have become more concerned about inflation and the economy. We have begun to struggle economically, and so our focus on issues like global warming becomes distorted when we get desperate.
Because of this desperation, climate activists have experienced various setbacks. The ability of the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate climate-warming carbon dioxide from electric power plants was limited by the Supreme Court recently. The increased gas prices, thought to spark a rush towards cleaner energy sources and electric vehicles, only produced a call for more oil production. Voters seem to be putting their climate worries aside and have shifted to a focus on uncertainty about the economy and the rate of inflation.
Over recent months, gas prices have risen significantly. These prices are correlated with the price of crude oil and rise when the price of crude oil does so as well. When demand for crude oil is greater than supply, prices rise. The Keystone XL Pipeline became a large factor in environmental and public health. It was initially designed to transport oil, promising to increase capacity, from Alberta to refineries on the Gulf Coast of Texas, but was canceled in June 2021. After the pandemic lowered in intensity, demands for gas prices went back up. At the same time, Russia invaded Ukraine. As a top producer in global oil production and with the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, it was feared that supply would be disrupted. As gas prices continue to fluctuate, there is no way to be sure what they will look like in the coming years. As long as the demand for gas is high and our use is not limited, prices will never be the same as they were years ago.