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Ten Things That Are More Expensive Than Tar Sands Oil Right Now

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There really couldn’t be a better time to wean ourselves off oil. Even before the spread of covid-19, the oil industry was doing badly. Now that the pandemic is lowering worldwide demand, it’s utterly fucked.

Oil prices are plummeting to record lows. On Friday, Western Canadian Select crude oil, the benchmark used to track the price of oil from Alberta’s tar sands, dropped to $5 dollars per barrel. FIVE. DOLLARS.


Here are some things that are currently more expensive than a barrel of Alberta oil (and still a better investment):

  1. A ten pack of toilet paper. Even before people started hoarding toilet paper and retailers started jacking up prices, a ten pack of toilet paper was, what, seven bucks? Eight?
  2. A gallon of hot sauce. A gallon of Crystal is worth about two barrels of Alberta crude. A half gallon of Cholula is more than $20, or you can get variety pack of the small bottles is about the same. And that’s a steal, honestly.
  3. Pretty much all the shit I put on my face. Creams, cleansers, face oil: all maybe snake oil, all more expensive than crude oil.
  4. 8 light bulbs
  5. A single Beyond Burger
  6. A month of Netflix
  7. A kind of cute, kind of creepy Greta Thunberg doll
  8. A copy of The Climate Crisis and the Global Green New Deal: The Political Economy of Saving the Planet, by Noam Chomsky and climate economist Robert Pollin
  9. Two ounces of hand sanitizer. If you buy the fancy kind, hand sanitizer can set you back way more than five dollars.
  10. Treatment for covid-19 if you don’t have health insurance. OK, this is actually making me sad.

Officials are likely going to extend a lifeline to oil companies. Which is dumb.