US inflation hit 40-year high in June

Record gas prices

Inflation surged to a new pandemic-era peak in June, with US consumer prices jumping by 9.1% year-over-year, according to fresh data released  by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s the highest level in more than 40 years and higher than the previous reading, when prices rose by 8.6% for the year ended in May. It is also much higher than the 8.8% that economists had predicted, according to Refinitiv.

The Consumer Price Index for June also showed that overall prices that consumers pay for a variety of goods and services rose by 1.3% from May to June. Much of the June increase was driven by a jump in gasoline prices, which were up nearly 60% over the year. Americans faced record-high gas prices last month, with the national average topping $5 a gallon across the country. Electricity and natural gas prices also rose, by 13.7% and 38.4%, respectively, for the 12-month period ended in June. Overall, energy prices rose by 41.6% year-over- year.

https://edition.cnn.com/

Inflation hit a 41-year high in March

Signs price hikes could slow down soon

Prices climbed at the fastest pace in decades in the month leading up to the war in Ukraine, underlining the high stakes facing the United States — along with many developed economies — as the conflict promises to drive costs higher.

The Consumer Price Index rose by 7.9 percent through February, the fastest pace of annual inflation in 40 years. Rising food and rent costs contributed to the big increase, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said, as did a nascent surge in gas prices that will become more pronounced in the March inflation report. The February report caught only the start of the surge in gas prices that came in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine late last month. Economists expect inflation to pick up even more in March because prices at the pump have since jumped to record-breaking highs. The average price for a gallon of gas was $4.32 on Thursday, according to AAA.

https://www.nytimes.com/

High Natural Gas Prices Could Lift Green Hydrogen Investment

Major green hydrogen deals and projects in Europe and Australia

As the price of natural gas is soaring globally amid a scarcity of supply and Russian threats to cut off flows to Europe unless buyers start paying in rubles, the economics of the so-called blue hydrogen have deteriorated. Green hydrogen made of electrolysis from renewable energy is now the preferred choice of future hydrogen supply as governments target net-zero emissions and a reduction of reliance on Russian gas.

Scalability and costs are still issues to be overcome in green hydrogen production. Yet, Europe’s dependence on natural gas supply from Russia and Putin’s war in Ukraine have prompted the European Union and many of its member states to embrace green hydrogen development, preferring it to the so-called blue variant made of natural gas with carbon capture and storage (CCS).

Companies in Europe and U.S. allies such as Australia have recently announced major green hydrogen deals and projects. Although costs of green hydrogen production are yet to drop to economically scalable and feasible levels, the prospect of using home-grown energy resources—wind and solar—rather than relying on gas imports from Russia is now paramount for policymakers in the West.

https://oilprice.com/

A Very Predictable Global Energy Crisis

Emissions of carbon dioxide are not the planet’s single biggest problem

Gas prices in Europe are breaking record after record. The UK is facing supply shortages reminiscent of the late 1970s winter of discontent. Chinese factories are shutting down because of power shortages, and the outlook is grim. In fact, it may be the first crisis of many.

When gas prices in Europe started rising faster and faster last month as the continent prepared for winter and found out it was not the only one, gas suddenly became important. That’s after being excluded from the list of low-carbon energy sources and after the EU’s green transition chief Frans Timmermans said gas had no place in the transition. It now appears Timmermans and his fellow Brussels bureaucrats could not have been more wrong.

For years Europe has been retiring coal plants and building solar and wind farms as it strived to become the greenest continent on earth and lead the energy transition on the premise that emissions of carbon dioxide are the planet’s single biggest problem because they lead to unfavorable climate changes. This has been coupled with investment declines in oil and gas production, as this only made sense. Now, the EU has got the first bill for its low-carbon feast.

https://oilprice.com/