Oil prices affect everyday objects

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Rising gas prices can also impact the items you use every day. Derek Lemoine is a professor of energy and environmental economics at the University of Arizona. He says oil is integrated into more of our daily lives than you might think

“The price of oil determines the price of gasoline. It’s traded on a global market, it’s not just about how much oil the United States uses and makes. This is the amount of oil that the whole world uses and produces at the same time. Not only have we increased demand as the economy recovers from COVID, but we have also experienced various supply disruptions, including Russia, a major oil producer,” Lemoine said.

In fact, according to the US Department of Energy, there are more than 6,000 products made from petroleum, including plastic ice cream tubs, iPhones, toothpaste, medicine, clothing, and fertilizer. Experts say the prices of everyday oil-related items are expected to rise in the coming weeks.

“Plastics come from oil, oil has its tentacles all over the economy and all the prices in the economy are going to adapt to that. Heating oil comes from oil, propane, butane can come from oil in some degree,” Lemoine said.

Lemoine also says that when gas prices rise, electric cars become more attractive and can impact airfares. As for the issue of electricity pricing, it is not affected.

“In the 2000s people started downsizing SUVs, that part of the market crashed because oil prices went up,” Lemoine said. “It’s directly related to them being more expensive to drive, it’s also when hybrids took off. One thing that’s not directly impacted as much is the price of electricity. We don’t We don’t use a lot of oil for electricity in the United States. We use natural gas, renewable coal, and nuclear.”