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Expand chart
Reproduced from Morgan Stanley; Chart: Axios Visuals

Sudden changes in world politics can bring about permanent changes in oil-and-gas use, per a recent Morgan Stanley report.

Driving the news: Geopolitical unrest in the late '70s and early '80s — the Iranian Revolution and start of the Iran-Iraq war — disrupted a lot of oil supply that, in turn, sent prices skyrocketing. That sudden jolt to the global oil system permanently cut oil consumption per capita that’s stayed with the world ever since, says Martijn Rats, managing director for equity research for Morgan Stanley.

  • Auto manufacturers started to improve engine efficiency and oil began to be replaced as an electricity source. 

Why it matters: Given today’s persistent environment of low oil and gas prices, it raises the question of what other kind of forces could bring about change — and if extreme weather or continued price reductions in new tech might jolt policymakers into emissions-cutting action. 

How it works: Given these three trends — global population, GDP per capita and oil consumption per capita — have very different orders of magnitude, Morgan Stanley indexed them to a common numerical measurement.

  • The purpose of the chart is to show how these three have grown over a long period of time relative to each other, so their absolute levels are not as important.

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Mar 13, 2019 - Energy & Environment

The age of American oil

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The U.S. has taken the global oil market by storm — becoming the world's largest oil producer in 2018 and on track to surpass Russia and perhaps even Saudi Arabia to become the world's top exporter by 2024.

Why it matters: Thanks to the end of a 40-year-old crude oil export ban signed by President Obama, a shale boom and a host of geopolitical sea changes, the U.S. is poised to reshape the global oil market over the next 10 years and beyond.

House passes $1.9 trillion COVID relief package

Photo: Screenshot via C-SPAN

The House approved President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID relief package on a 219-212 vote early Saturday morning, sending it to the Senate for a possible rewrite before it gets to Biden's desk.

The big picture: The vote was a critical first step for the package, which includes $1,400 cash payments for many Americans, a national vaccination program, ramped-up COVID testing and contact tracing, state and local funding and money to help schools reopen.

8 hours ago - Health

Biden says it's "not the time to relax" after touring vaccination site

President Biden speaking after visiting a FEMA Covid-19 vaccination facility in Houston on Feb. 26. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that "it's not the time to relax" coronavirus mitigation efforts and warned that the number of cases and hospitalizations could rise again as new variants of the virus emerge.

Why it matters: Biden, who made the remarks after touring a vaccination site in Houston, echoed CDC director Rochelle Walensky, who said earlier on Friday that while the U.S. has seen a recent drop in cases and hospitalizations, "these declines follow the highest peak we have experienced in the pandemic."