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Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

U.S. crude oil just closed above $80 per barrel for the first time since 2014.

Why it matters: The meteoric rise of oil, natural gas and coal has sent energy costs up around the world.

State of play: In a bid to keep prices down, U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm has considered releasing more oil from the country’s strategic petroleum reserve, Reuters reported.

  • The Biden administration also in August called for OPEC to increase production.

What we're watching: Whether U.S. shale producers start upping their output faster.

  • So far, the number of active oil and natural gas rigs in the U.S. is nowhere near pre-pandemic levels, as we wrote about Monday.

Go deeper

Energy crisis adds to the COP26 headwinds

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The energy crisis roiling global markets is adding a wild card to an already unfavorable geopolitical deck of cards that will be handed to world leaders at the UN Climate Summit in Glasgow, which starts at the end of the month.

Why it matters: For the Paris temperature targets to be kept even remotely viable, studies show countries must make sharp cuts in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, and move toward net-zero emissions by midcentury at the latest, or risk far more severe climate impacts.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Oct 20, 2021 - Energy & Environment

UN: Fossil fuel output plans would crush Paris hopes

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A United Nations report warns that governments and fossil fuel companies are planning levels of oil, natural gas and coal production that are "dangerously out of sync" with holding global warming in check.

Driving the news: "[T]he world’s governments still plan to produce more than double the amount of fossil fuels in 2030 than would be consistent with limiting global warming to 1.5°C, and 45% more than consistent with limiting warming to 2°C," it states.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Oct 23, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Saudi Arabia vows net-zero emissions by 2060

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends the opening of the Saudi Green Initiative Forum, via video link, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on October 23, 2021. (Photo by Royal Court of Saudi Arabia/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Saudi Arabia on Saturday pledged to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2060, deepened its 2030 targets and joined an international coalition seeking to cut emissions of the potent planet-warming gas methane by 30% in nine years.

Why it matters: The pledges from the world's largest oil exporter come just before COP26, a key United Nations summit opening Oct. 31 that is aimed at rallying worldwide actions to stem emissions that are currently on pace to bring global warming well beyond the Paris Agreement goals.