President Joe Biden announced sanctions on Russian crude oil on March 8. The formal embargo comes in the wake of rising gas prices in the US, as an increasing number of corporations refuse to import Russian crude.

The Cost of Gas Is Too Damn High: Due to boycotts by corporations and the newly imposed sanctions, the cost of gasoline has increased by 30% in just two weeks.

  • The average price of gasoline in the US is currently $4.32 per gallon, breaking a new record.
  • In California, gas costs are even higher, selling for an average of $5.75 per gallon.

The Silver Lining: Unsurprisingly, this has led to a win in the growing sustainability efforts. Rising fuel costs are leading to more widespread EV adoption.

  • A source familiar with Tesla's order rate has told Electrek that the automaker saw a 100% increase in sales in one week in parts of the country hit hard by rising gas prices.

Voice of Reason: Contrary to his benefit though, Elon Musk called for more oil production in the United States, tweeting, “Hate to say it, but we need to increase oil & gas output immediately. Extraordinary times demand extraordinary measures.”

Obstacles Ahead: And of course, as Murphy's law dictates, "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong." and everything that can go wrong seems to be picking this moment in time as a surge in nickel prices threatens electric vehicle production.

  • Electric vehicle manufacturers rely on nickel to create lithium-ion battery cells.
  • 20% of the world's class 1 (high-purity) nickel comes from the Russian mining company Norilsk Nickel, a.k.a. Nornickel.
  • And while commodities in Russia haven't been targeted by sanctions so far, nickel prices are rising to unprecedented levels amid uncertainty.

Where We Are Now: In the midst of all these battling factors, we've come to a point now in which the White House and the oil industry are fighting over production increase. What you may not know is that the oil industry in the United States is run by private companies, not the U.S. government.

  • Therefore President Biden is pointing fingers right at the industry and has accused oil companies of not doing enough to increase production, claiming they are sitting on thousands of unused permits and prioritizing profits above increasing output.
  • The companies, however, are pointing right back, claiming that the administration should be doing more to incentivize production and be less reliant on foreign sources.
  • Whether or not one side will concede is yet to be seen.
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