The prices of energy, crude and gasoline all increased in 2021 from 2020, the U.S. Energy Information Agency reports. Prices increased because of higher demand and a range of other factors.
By the end of 2021, commodities on the energy index traded 59% higher than they did on the first trading day last year on the S&P Goldman Sachs Commodity Index (GSCI), the EIA reports.
GSCI is a commodity index that tracks the performance of global commodities markets. It’s a weighted average that’s updated every year. In 2021, the energy index comprised 54% of the GSCI, with the two crude oil benchmarks, the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and Brent, accounting for approximately 70% of the energy index. WTI crude oil accounts for the largest share of the overall GSCI of more than 21%.
U.S. crude oil production fell by 8% in 2020, the largest annual decrease on record, the U.S. Energy Information Agency reports.
This plunge occurred one year after the U.S. reached a record annual average high of 12.2 million barrels a day in production in 2019.
A large group of House Republicans penned a letter to top Biden administration officials Friday, urging them not to ban U.S. crude oil exports.
The GOP lawmakers, led by Texas Reps. Roger Williams and August Pfluger, said the move would be a “catastrophic mistake” and further exacerbate high energy prices in the letter addressed to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo. The congressmen noted that a previous crude oil export ban had been opposed by Democrats and Republicans alike.
“President Biden’s war on American energy continues with his Administration’s latest discussions to reinstate the export ban on crude oil, which was repealed in 2015 on a bipartisan vote,” Williams said in a statement.
With gasoline prices up more than $1 a gallon over the past year, the Biden administration took heat Wednesday over a statement from National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan pressuring OPEC nations to increase oil production.
“Higher gasoline costs, if left unchecked, risk harming the ongoing global recovery. The price of crude oil has been higher than it was at the end of 2019, before the onset of the pandemic,” Sullivan said. “While OPEC+ recently agreed to production increases, these increases will not fully offset previous production cuts that OPEC+ imposed during the pandemic until well into 2022. At a critical moment in the global recovery, this is simply not enough.”