RUSSIA + UKRAINE

Cutoff of Russian oil impacts Utah, but solutions aren’t simple

Apr 13, 2022, 1:46 PM
Lack of Russian oil supply greatly effects Utah along with rest of Country...
FILE - A pumping unit sucks oil from the ground near Greensburg, Kan. on March 6, 2012. AP Photo/Charlie Riedel.

SALT LAKE CITY — The cutoff of Russian oil supplies due to the war in Ukraine had a big effect on world oil prices. Utah is feeling the effects of this along with the rest of the country.

Newsmaker Breakfast, a monthly event highlighting issues impacting Utah, had a discussion about the issue Wednesday morning. 

Suspending the state’s 31.9-cents-per-gallon tax on motor fuel was one item under discussion. Thom Carter, the energy advisor to Governor Spencer Cox, said UDOT officials have a “minor heart attack” each time the issue comes up.

The motor fuel tax directly funds road construction and maintenance efforts in Utah. Economist Steve Bannister favors that option. 

Utah oil production

Utah’s oil producers in the Uintah Basin pull about 100,000 barrels of crude oil out of the ground every day. They send 80,000 barrels of that to Utah’s five refineries, which combine it with supplies from neighboring states. Utah oil producers will process around 200,000 barrels a day. Similarly, that is about the same amount the United States was importing from Russia before sanctions were created.

Getting Uintah Basin producers to give more is a hard problem to solve. Carter met recently with energy production firms. He said firms will face the same issues that other businesses do following the pandemic.  The main issue is finding enough people to work.

“We need diesel in the Basin to get crude out of the basin, we need truck drivers. We need all these kind of people that we just have not seen an increase or a return to the pre-pandemic numbers,” Carter said. 

The Biden administration has banned new leases for oil and gas on federal land. Even if the ban is lifted, the Gardner Institute’s Thomas Holst said it’s not a short-term solution.

“If the Ukraine war were over in two weeks, say . . . within a reasonable time frame, then those pressures are starting to go away pretty quickly, maybe before the new supply that opening up leases would free up,” Holst said.

Other solutions to high fuel prices

The growth in electric vehicle use is another way to address the issue of high fuel prices, but Thom Carter claims the federal government is “talking out of both sides of its mouth” about needing to produce minerals required for vehicle batteries and hydrocarbon fuels.

“We’ve got a Department of Energy that says, ‘We need to have more transmission, more electric vehicles, more minerals, all those things’ but you have a Department of the Interior that says, ‘But you can’t get them out of our land.'” said Carter. 

PowerPoint slides from the Newsmaker Breakfast are available on the Gardner Institute website.

Related Stories:

Russia + Ukraine

FILE - In this photo  provided by the Russian Defense Ministry Press Service, Russian missile cruis...
The Associated Press

Sailors’ families seek answers about Russian ship sinking

Families of Russian sailors aboard the Moskva are seeking information about the ship sinking.
2 months ago
President Joe Biden walks to board Air Force One, Thursday, April 21, 2022, at Andrews Air Force Ba...
The Associated Press

Biden announces heavy artillery, other weapons for Ukraine

President Joe Biden announced another $1,3 billion in military aide for Ukraine.
2 months ago
President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in the Roosevelt Room of t...
AAMER MADHANI and DARLENE SUPERVILLE Associated Press

Biden announces $800M in new military assistance for Ukraine

The new military assistance package includes much needed heavy artillery, 144,000 rounds of ammunition, and drones for Ukrainian forces.
2 months ago
Ukrainian soldiers walk on a destroyed bridge in Irpin, on the outskirts of Kyiv, on Wednesday, Apr...
The Associated Press

‘Days or hours left’: Russia tightens the noose in Mariupol

Russian forces tighten their grip in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol.
2 months ago
FILE - Russia's Daniil Medvedev plays a return to Spain's Carlos Alcaraz during the men's singles s...
CHRIS LEHOURITES AP Sports Writer

Wimbledon bans players from Russia, Belarus over Ukraine war

One of those affected by the ban is second-ranked Daniil Medvedev. He won last year's U.S. Open and was this year's Australian Open runner-up.
2 months ago
A Ukrainian soldier inspects a Russian tank after recent battles at the village of Moshchun close t...
The Associated Press

Russia pours in more troops and presses attack in the east

Russia poured additional troops into the eastern half of Ukraine in a potential battle for that part of the country.
2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Prescription opioid...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
...

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
...

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
...

Tax Tuesday: Key Information Before the Filing Deadline

Businesses can receive a credit of up to $5,000 per employee in 2020 and up to $21,000 per employee in 2021.
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
Cutoff of Russian oil impacts Utah, but solutions aren’t simple