This morning prices are trading lower as new fears about Omicron run through the market. Today crude oil opened at $72.04, diesel at $2.2595, and gasoline at $2.1455.
The uncertainty with this new variant is not making investors comfortable, but news from OPEC stating the variant would be “mild and short-lived” does bring some hope. While the UK is dealing with an extremely high infection rate with the new variant, most countries have remained dormant for the time being, with only mild cases reported in areas of the United States. In addition to new fears with Omicron, deadly tornadoes ripped through six states, causing severe damage over the weekend, and killing over 80 people. On December 11th, the Arkansas and Kentucky governors declared states of emergencies in their respective states. In Kentucky, the declaration notes, “Commercial drivers responding to affected areas are relieved of the requirement to stop at weigh stations, that permit fees for overweight/over-dimensional vehicles are waived, as are IRP registration requirements” (SIGMA).
Kentucky seemed to bear the worst of the storms, with most storm-related deaths coming from the state. In Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi, and Tennessee, over 30 tornadoes were accounted for, but it is not over yet. New reports show that severe weather patterns are moving toward the east as the path of the storm persists. FEMA and other government organizations have been dispatched at the request of the Biden administration to help with the ongoing recovery efforts.
With the death toll rising and many thousands without power in affected states, people are starting to demand answers. When asked about the severity and strength of these storms, Biden cited climate change as the primary factor. One major issue coming from recovery efforts is the freezing temperatures up north. With no power, many people temporarily move away from their states until power can be restored. With uncertainty whether these storms will impact the Eastern United States moving forward, it is always better to be prepared in the event storms begin to brew.