Thursday, March 26, 2009

Keeping Tabs: Oil Stays Above $50/Barrel for Week

We’ve been showing the Crude Oil graph in the right column for months now thanks to the folks at They make it easy to stay informed on the biggest influence on Hawaii’s cost of living.

Oil passed $50 a week ago today for the first time in three months, and it hasn’t fallen below that level since. Residents here already are talking about the rising price of gas over the past two months, and we’ll soon see the influence of oil’s higher price in our electric bills.

Anecdotally, our own electric bill was above $180/month in late summer after oil reached $147/barrel in July. Our most recent bill was about $75, which shows oil’s great impact in a state that generates about 78 percent of its electricity by burning it.

President Obama mentions the importance of developing the country’s renewable energy potential in nearly every press conference and town meeting. Perhaps more than the rest of the nation, Hawaii residents support him in achieving that goal. No other state is as dependent on oil or has more to gain by loosening oil’s grip on our economy.

Energy Stimulus Funds Coming

The Obama Administration is sending more than $15 million to Hawaii for energy efficiency and conservation projects, according to an announcement today.  Keeping track of the various stimulus packages flowing from Washington can be confusing, though; headlines two weeks ago said Hawaii is receiving $30 million for energy programs. And can we even be sure the funds will end up where they've been designated?  (We've just been assured by a State official in a position to know that there's no possibility of the energy funds being diverted as apparently is happening with other monies.  "We're working with the feds, counties and the PUC to make well thought-out decisions on where this money should go," he said. So forget the earlier speculation.)


prh said...

It would be appropriate if monies could be allocated to build the 1 MW OTEC plant at NELHA utilizing the existing 55" pipeline. This project would create jobs and export revenue to offset declining tourist dolars.

Anonymous said...

In my Friday blog I indicated that Barclays Capital predicted oil would drop below $50/barrel (they actually said $48.50) this week, and I the last time I checked today, it was $48.45/bbl. I guess they sometimes guess right. I've been making fun of these oil prognosticators all my life.

By the way, I liked your Crude Oil Dashboard so much that I have added it to my growing list of already too many electronic widgets.