Prices at the pump have been rising steadily ever since Biden yanked America from energy independence back into dependence on foreign energy at a level we haven’t seen in decades. The results are likely to return us to Carter-levels of inflation and continuing pain at the pump. And even as the prices skyrocket, the president is unwilling to unleash American energy production to help Americans and the world.
Oil isn’t just turned into gas for our cars so that we can get from home to work and back. It is also made into a ton of components that go into everything we buy. It’s also required to make diesel fuel which is how every ounce of your groceries gets to the store.
Whether that’s in a farmer’s tractor, powering a diesel-electric locomotive, or in a trucker’s semi, diesel is how everything we eat gets to the grocer. And when oil prices rise from $52 per barrel on Biden’s inauguration day to their current level of $111 today, things are going to hurt.. a lot.
Massive Hit to the Grocery Budget
My wife and I had to have that terrible conversation this last weekend. We need to focus on buying the groceries we need, not necessarily all the ones we want. Don’t get me wrong, no one in our house is going hungry, but the fridge, freezer, and pantry aren’t going to have the same selections as they did just a few months ago.
Chicken wings, a family favorite on the weekends are out. We used to buy a large bag (10 lbs) that would last two or three weekends for a pair of VERY hungry teenagers and us. That bag used to cost around $30 but has jumped to almost $45.
Steaks were a regular thing here at the Mitchell household. We’d do value-priced thinner ribeyes once a week or so and grab some prime-grade thick boys for special occasions.
Yeah, unless they are deeply discounted, that’s over.
We’ve reduced our grocery buys to milk, juice, eggs, bread, cereal, pork chops, chicken tenderloins, ground beef, veggies, pasta, coffee, and fruit. No chips, dips, specialty foods, or premium cuts of meat. We are also beginning an adventure into making our own bread.
It costs a lot more to fuel our cars and grocery prices are no joke right now. Feeding teenagers is expensive and rapidly rising food prices have pushed our grocery budget to its limit, but now experts say another 30% increase or more could come due to failing energy policy.
“The reality,” he said, “is that with diesel moving much higher than gasoline, we’re not only looking at higher fuel prices, but pretty much the cost of everything.”
“I am not an agro-economist,” McTeague continued, “but I can tell you in my discussions with many, which is part of my work here, we’re looking at a 30 to 35 per cent increase in food prices as a result of these increases in diesel and we haven’t even started the planting season yet.”
A 35% increase? That $45 10lb bag of wings would be almost $60 (remember it was around $30 a few months ago). Imagine that applied across your grocery bill. If you spend $200 per week now, you’ll need to spend $270 going forward for the same items. Where is that extra $280 per month going to come from?
Inflation Hitting More than Gas and Food
But, terrible energy policy won’t only make food more expensive. Everything needs to get from producer to seller and that happens by truck, train, plane, and ship. Those things don’t run on unicorn farts – they need fuel. Anything with plastic or rubber in it (just about everything you can’t eat) is either completely made from petroleum products or comes in a package that is. A lot of food products also come in plastic packaging made from… yeah.
We didn’t even cover the increases Americans saw in the heating bills this winter and the effect higher oil prices will have on our electric bills this summer. (I did mention there was no good news in this article…)
So as you fuel up, buy groceries, pay your energy bills, or order something online and wonder how you’re going to make it all work? Just say “Let’s go Brandon!”
It helps, just a little bit.