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Jacobin - March 11, 2022

Amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, gas prices across America have reached a fourteen-year high. The spike has been so sudden, in fact, that the cost per gallon spiked by a full cent every day throughout the last week of February. And even before the invasion and corresponding discussions throughout Western countries about banning Russian oil imports consumers were already being gouged at the pumps — oil companies raking in profits approaching $200 billion at the end of 2021.

It may be a catastrophe for those fueling up but, throughout North America, an industry already basking in its own largesse clearly senses an opportunity. The American Petroleum Institute, for example, has seized on the moment to yet again promote the Keystone XL pipeline and advocate for new drilling. The editorial board at Canada’s newspaper of record, meanwhile, is attempting to revive a version of the “ethical oil” case popularized by far-right pundit Ezra Levant, viewing the current situation as an occasion for the country’s oil industry to reassert itself, with some pundits and right-wing politicians following suit. Perhaps best summing up this absurd zeitgeist, one op-ed published by Bloomberg simply declared “Fracking Is a Powerful Weapon Against Russia.” ...
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