A Lot Has Changed…But Alaska’s Energy Workers Haven’t

A Lot Has Changed…But Alaska’s Energy Workers Haven’t

April 1, 2020

A month ago, the US knew about COVID-19, as images from China and Europe showed the suffering (and death) of thousands from the Chinese flu.  There were no cases in America.

A month ago, Brent Crude prices were $51.90 a barrel, WTI was $46.75 and ANS was $50.85. 

A month ago, a flight from Anchorage to Washington, DC would be 90% filled, and prices approached $900 for a 14-day advance, round-trip seat on flights connecting through Seattle.

A month ago, you could find groceries in abundance, toilet paper lined store shelves, Purel and Clorox products were items you only bought when you were close to running out, and consumers could walk past shelves full of rice, pasta and beans, and not give a second thought to hoarding them.

But that was a month ago. 

Today, COVID-19 cases in America number 163,539.  Nearly 2,900 people have lost their lives.

Today, Brent sits at $24.81.  WTI hovers around $20.50, and ANS has been cut in half at $25.50.

If you dare fly today, you can most likely sit in a row by yourself on the plane, and the cost of a flight this week, had you bought it two weeks ago, would run just over $600.

If you time it right, Costco will have Clorox and toilet paper, but don’t think for a minute about looking for hand sanitizing products, because they seemingly don’t exist in Alaska.  Rice, pasta and bean sections still sit mostly empty.

A lot has changed in a month.

What hasn’t changed is the commitment of Alaska’s (and America’s) energy workers.  They – along with supply-chain workers and the heroes working as first responders and medical workers – don’t have the ability to “hunker in place” to “flatten the curve”.

The vast majority of Alaskans take for granted the ability to turn a switch on and have light, or turn a thermostat up for increased heat.  While we still can get outside to enjoy the splendor of our state, much of our movement is in short bursts – but the supply of gas for our cars, snowmachines and boats is still abundant.

Alaska’s energy community is struggling with the pressures of COVID, low prices and geopolitical unrest.  Yet, the workers continue to produce world-class products that will help with the social, medical and economic recovery to come.

And for that, Power The Future simply says, “Thank you.”