Are We Heading Toward an Energy Crisis?

Mark Skousen

Named one of the "Top 20 Living Economists," Dr. Skousen is a professional economist, investment expert, university professor, and author of more than 25 books.

So, you think the “Green New Deal” is dead? Think again.

Energy prices are soaring not only in the United States but in Europe and Asia as well. The price of crude oil has doubled in the past year and is approaching $80 a barrel. Gasoline prices are over $4 a gallon in some parts of the country.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has refused to increase the production of its member countries.

10 years ago, Germany overreacted to a potential nuclear power disaster in Japan by closing down all its nuclear power plants, and extreme environmentalists demanded that the country switch to renewable solar and wind power.

Now, the Germans are paying the price. Cold weather and a rebounding economy have led to an energy shortage, and Germany has had to increase dramatically its dependence on coal and natural gas.

Last week, the global energy crunch forced a German electricity producer to halt power plant production after it ran out of coal.

The global shortage is so acute that China ordered its state-owned companies to secure supplies at all costs. Japan is also facing an energy shortage.

Biden’s War on American Fossil Fuels

The Biden administration has declared war on American fossil fuel production. By executive order, Biden canceled the Keystone Pipeline. More regulations are coming. Drilling and permits, especially for fracking, are limited.

Under the Trump administration, which was pro-fossil fuel and fracking, the United States became a net exporter of oil in 2020. Now, the trend has moved the opposite way in 2021, and we are back to being a net importer.

Laffer and Associates has calculated that our imports are up more than 15% already. See the chart below.

Courtesy of Laffer and Associates

The stock market has been in a bear market recently, but energy stocks are bucking the trend.

I have been adding oil and gas stocks as well as pipeline companies, to my newsletter and trading services with good results. I expect that trend to continue.

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Good investing, AEIOU,

Mark Skousen

You Blew It!

Should We Demonize the Unvaccinated?

“The only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated and they’re killing people.” — President Joe Biden

Should we treat those who choose not to get the COVID-19 vaccine as lepers, the unclean and the unwashed? Some critics have even accused them of being murderers.

Recently, Fox News commentator Geraldo Rivera recommended that those who don’t take the vaccines should be socially marginalized and barred from restaurants, colleges and businesses.

“If you are unvaccinated, you are an arrogant, selfish SOB,” Rivera declared.

The debate over vaccinations has gotten nasty and uncivil. The alarmists are calling for mandated vaccines. The unvaccinated respond, “My body, my choice!” and are now losing their jobs in New York and other states run by overzealous Democrats.

What about those who cannot take the vaccines because of compromised immune systems? What about those who have already had COVID-19 and have built up natural immunity and antibodies? Do they really need to be vaccinated? What about those who are opposed to the vaccine on religious grounds?

There is a very small chance that the unvaccinated person may inadvertently infect someone with COVID-19 and that person may die, but the odds of dying from COVID-19 are extremely small, less than 1%, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

America used to be the land of the free. Nobody wore masks when getting the flu or a cold and a runny nose. They just stayed at home or away from people. Did we call them murderers and arrogant SOBs if they went to work or got an airplane? It is annoying sitting next to someone on an airline who is coughing. They should know better than to go to work sick. But it happens. Life is full of risks.

More than a million Americans get colds and the flu every year and more than 50,000 die from the flu. Are you a murderer if you accidentally gave someone a cold, and that person got pneumonia and died? Should we shut down the entire economy to curtail this terrible death rate?

We have a right to live our own lives. We should not intentionally try to harm anyone else like Typhoid Mary; when we are sick, we should stay home and social distance. COVID-19 is more virulent than other coronaviruses, but we are discovering this disease cannot be stopped. Even people who are vaccinated are getting the COVID-19 virus. (I was one of them and fortunately recovered.)

It is like the old Fram oil filter commercial, “You either pay me now, or pay me later.”

I do wish our leaders would focus on a healthy living plan rather than just the symptoms, wearing the masks and getting vaccinated. It is a fact that healthy people who eat wholesome foods, take vitamins, exercise regularly and get plenty of sleep are less likely to die from this disease.

“If you’re not healthy, you’re not wealthy!” (p. 143, “Maxims of Wall Street”: buy it at www.skousenbooks.com).

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