When we think of oil and gas prices, we often think about how much money we spend on gasoline each year for our cars. Cars are an essential part of American life, especially in areas where driving is the only way to get from one place to another. Many Americans rely on their cars in order to get to work and make money to pay their bills. So when there are sharp rises in gasoline prices, due to increased prices of crude oil, families and individuals feel the impact.
During the summers in the last decade where gasoline prices sharply increased, families have had to shell out over $50 or more to fill up their gas tank that normally would be $25 in the current economy, without any increase in income. So, why was 2016 different and how does that help families across the country?
Money Back into Wallets
The number one thing that lower oil and natural gas prices does is help families to retain money that they could have spent on things like gasoline for their cars. According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), “Lower gasoline prices saved Americans more than $115 billion in 2016 compared to 2014…[and] the $115 billion equates to $550 per licensed driver. Here is another way we can break it down: divided among, the average household saved approximately $1,000 last year compared to 2014.” This extra $1,000 that families retained went on to be spent in other areas such as education, health care, and increased standard of living for many families.
It’s Not Just Gasoline
While the reduced price of crude oil and gasoline has helped to improve available income for many households, it’s not the only product making a big impact. Natural gas prices also stayed relatively low, allowing homes to be heated and cooled at affordable rates. With a large percentage of coal power plants being shut down, many thought electricity prices would skyrocket. Instead, increased fracking of natural gas has allowed many families to save money on their monthly utility bills while still moving towards a more environmentally-friendly option. The energy industry couldn’t predict the boom that would happen with fracking, and the benefits that it would provide across many different areas.
Fracking, and the various areas of everyday life that it impacts, is an often complex issue. In 2017, fracking and the fracking industry, including everything from engineers to companies that provide above ground storage tanks for frac fluid, will be tested in terms of sustainability and advancement. With OPEC shorting the international oil supply, many countries will be relying on more affordable, cleaner-burning natural gas. Allowing oil prices to rise is closely tied with an economic downturn. In fact, lower oil and gas prices are directly tied to “job creation and economic prosperity,” notes Forbes contributor James Taylor. “Ever since the OPEC price shocks began in the 1970s, rising oil prices have immediately preceded every significant rise in U.S. unemployment and falling oil prices have immediately preceded every significant decline in U.S. unemployment.”
It may not be easy to see all the different variables that go into fracking’s impact on the economy, but they are strong and very prevalent in the current day and age. Fracking has empowered a shift away from coal and helped to keep energy bills affordable for many.
If you work with a fracking organization, opt for the above ground storage tanks, from Well Water Solutions, for frac fluid storage onsite, and know you’re helping many families save money on their important households expenses each year.