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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

European natural gas prices soared to fresh records this morning while U.S. oil prices are at seven-year highs, the latest signs of convulsions in the global energy system that could shake climate policies.

By the numbers: Via Bloomberg, benchmark Dutch gas futures rose another 18% in trading today, with British prices seeing a similar bounce.

  • Brent crude oil prices are trading at over $82-per-barrel this morning, the highest since 2018, while the U.S. benchmark WTI is at a seven-year high above $78.
  • U.S. gasoline prices are averaging $3.20-per-gallon, per AAA, over $1 higher than a year ago.
  • Reuters reports that European coal futures were trading at 13-year highs yesterday "as rallying gas prices and strong Asian demand fuelled coal buying."

The intrigue: The trends are interlocking, so the high natural gas prices are prompting upward pressure on oil demand as power companies change fuels.

  • Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser said yesterday he sees fuel switching adding 500,000 barrels per day to global demand.
  • JPMorgan estimates it could add 750,000 barrels this winter, per the WSJ.

The big picture: The commodity surge stems from a suite of overlapping forces — including weather and demand revival from the pandemic — that are now being felt worldwide.

Energy supply problems are also apparent, with Bloomberg reporting that coal-fired power plants in India are low on supplies and China also facing a crunch.

What we're watching: The potential policy fallout. "Soaring gas and power prices are prompting fears of a backlash against the EU's Green Deal policies, highlighted during Monday's eurozone finance ministers' meeting," Politico reports.

Go deeper: What's behind the rising energy prices

Go deeper

Retail sales rise 0.7% in September from August

Data: St. Louis Fed via FRED; Chart: Axios Visuals

U.S. retail sales rose in September as a result of higher gas and auto dealership sales, according to data released on Friday by the Department of Commerce.

The big picture: Higher retail sales may have been the effect of consumers buying early for the holidays out of fear of supply shortages.

Justice Department asks Supreme Court to block Texas abortion ban

Abortion rights activists rally at the Texas State Capitol on Sept. 11, 2021, in Austin, Texas. Photo: Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images

The Justice Department on Monday asked the Supreme Court to temporarily block Texas' near-total ban on abortions while federal courts consider its constitutionality.

The big picture: The court last month allowed the ban to take effect, rejecting an emergency application by abortion-rights groups. The law bars the procedure after cardiac activity is detected, as early as six weeks into pregnancy.

Updated 1 hour ago - Health

This arthritis drug cost $198 in 2008. Now it's more than $10,000

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

In 2008, a box of 30 anti-inflammatory rectal suppositories that treats arthritis, called Indocin, had a price tag of $198. As of Oct. 1, the price of that same box was 52 times higher, totaling $10,350.

Why it matters: As federal lawmakers continue to waver on drug price reforms, Indocin is another example of how nothing prevents drug companies from hiking prices at will and selling them within a broken supply chain.