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CNN 10

Crude Oil, Gas Prices, And Inflation Are Rising; Conservationist Educates Students In The Middle East; Autonomous Military Chopper Takes Flight. Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired February 15, 2022 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Hi, I`m Carl Azuz. We`re glad you`re hanging 10 with us today. In the stock market, crude oil is sold by the barrel. One

barrel contains 42 gallons of oil, and the price of oil per barrel just hit $95 on Monday. It was the first time in eight years it was that expensive

and this is expected to have ripple effects that drive up prices across many of the things we buy.

Crude oil prices are the biggest factor in the cost of gasoline. You hear a lot about electric cars, but they only account for a small percentage,

less than five percent of the U.S. car market. The vast majority of vehicles depend on gasoline to get around, and when those prices go up it

becomes more expensive both to drive and to transport the goods and groceries we use.

Rising oil prices are also associated with rising inflation. The overall increase in costs was at 7.5 percent last month over January 2021, and that

was inflation`s highest level since 1982 so things could get worse there as well. Why is this happening? One big reason is uncertainty about the

situation in Ukraine, which we discussed on yesterday`s show.

On Monday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russia was expected to attack his country on February 16th, but after that one of his advisors

said he spoke quote, "with irony", so questions there. Either way though, the United States announced it was closing its embassy in the Ukrainian

capital of Kyiv. The American stock market fell while oil prices climbed, and what remains to be seen is whether things will stay that way or

normalize in the days ahead.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Add gas prices to the list of surging costs weighing on American`s wallet.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The price has been a little bit more each time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The national average now around $3.44 a gallon, up more than $1 from a year ago and the highest since 2014 and it`s only getting

worse approaching the record national average of $4.11. Do you think we could hit that record in the months ahead?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think we have a very good chance.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s a nation with supply and demand dating back to the start of COVID. Just look at this rollercoaster chart of U.S. gas prices

over time. In March 2020, prices plummeted. Americans weren`t on the road. Oil producers, including OPEC, cut back on investments and on

operations. They had no where to store extra oil.

HELIMA CROFT, GLOBAL HEAD OF COMMODITY STRATEGY: They laid of employees. They didn`t work their rigs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Demand for fuel skyrocketed, more than experts expected and the oil industry didn`t have the supply. They`re still playing catch


MIKE SOMMERS, CEO, AMERICAN PETROLEUM INSTITUTE: You can`t just turn on a spigot. These are long cycle projects.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, gas prices have been surging for 14 months, only briefly dipping during Omicron. Demand is back at pre-pandemic levels,

even AAA can`t explain that.

ANDREW GROSS, AAA SPOKESPERSON: They`re trying to, kind of, figure it out right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the conflict on the Ukrainian border is adding a new strain. Russia is the second largest oil producer. If the crisis

escalates, JP Morgan says oil prices could soar from $91 a barrel to $120.

CROFT: If we were to see Russia potentially withhold energy exports, the question would be who could make up for that?

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: I`m going to work like the devil to bring gas prices down.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s a huge political problem for the Biden Administration, which says it`s now engaging with the oil producing

countries to increase production, preparing to go after firms that manipulate prices and considering dipping back into the strategic petroleum

reserve. In November they announced the release of 50 million barrels from that supply.

PATRICK DE HAAN, HEAD OF PETROLEUM ANALYSIS FOR GASBUDDY: It resulted in - - in very little -- more like negligible impact.

CROFT: At this price point, you`ll start to see more production come back but there`s still a gap that needs to be filled.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But as of now, oil prices are expected to keep rising for months adding fuel to inflation on everything from groceries to store

goods and driving price hikes at the pump.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s not just my car. It`s every single aspect of my life is impacted by gas prices.


AZUZ: 10 Second Trivia. What nation whose capital is Muscat borders Saudi Arabia and the Arabian Sea? Oman, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates or

Yemen. Oman, a nation of 3.6 million, is a monarchy bordering the Arabian Sea.

Rugged mountains rise in the northern and southern parts of Oman according to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, and that`s where most of the

population lives. The middle part of the country, which is hot and dry is sparsely populated. But with such varied topography, mountains, plains,

cliffs and coasts, Oman is a nation rich in biodiversity and that`s why a professor from another continent entirely is working in Oman to conserve

it`s natural features.


ERIKA CUELLER SOTO, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR FOR SULTAN QUABOOS UNIVERSITY: When you start working in arid land, the first thing you imagine is

emptiness, but you would be amazed of the diversity hidden. My name is Erika Cueller Soto. I am originally from Bolivia but I am here in Oman

working as a professor teaching conservation, (inaudible) biology and biodiversity.

So together with mangroves, we have a species like this and they -- they depend on the -- on the mangrove formation.

I am here at the Sultan Quaboos University. I have students from different parts of the country, and for me this is very strategic because when they

finish the university, they are fresh biologists and they will go back to their areas in -- in the country. We are developing a very, very

interesting cooperation with the Natural History Museum in -- in Muscat. We are developing a project with the students in order to contribute with

samples for the museum to represent the diversity of the country.

Here -- here as you can see.

Young generations are very interested in technology. So, it`s a challenge for me to just attract them to see the nature in -- in a different way.

We just want to take sample of this. OK. We want to see the sediment or - - or --

They are mainly desert people, to be inside the forest is so refreshing. It`s so different to what they`re used to see.


SOTO: I take the students to different environments and the mangroves are something that really attract them. Conservation in the Middle East is

important in any place in the world. We are facing a very difficult time in terms of health of our planet. I am hopeful that at the same time, I

want them to be realistic. I want them to understand that we need to invest in gaining knowledge and -- and -- and advancing in science. I

believe that -- that this region deserves attention. It`s a very rich area and we shouldn`t ignore it and we shouldn`t ignore any arid lands.


AZUZ: Most pilots will generally tell you that a helicopter is harder to fly than an airplane. So would you let a computer do it? This is the

inside of a military Blackhawk helicopter. As you can see, it has two pilots available but they ain`t flying it. This chopper is getting ready

to fly itself and this is apparently that`s ever happened. The first autonomous Blackhawk flight reportedly went well.

It took off, avoided an obstacle and landed and while the pilots were there to monitor it, they did not actively control it. The technology to do this

was designed by the Lockheed Martin Aerospace Company. It was added to an existing helicopter, not one that was redesigned from the ground up. The

U.S. military says it`s looking at using this autonomous technology in the future.

Misha the tiger apparently knew all along that the L.A. Rams would win the Super Bowl. Oh you think she would have picked the Cincinnati Bengals, but

Misha herself is not a Bengal. She`s an Amur or Siberian tiger and she went against her own family. When we say that we mean she licked the glass

under the Rams logo instead of the Bengals one, even though they had the same scent. The animals at this Iowa zoo have reportedly picked the winner

eight out of 11 games.

But would she have done the same thing for the Panthers or the Jaguars, then you could say "cat`s got her tongue". And in the circus of NFL

mascots, she could pick from lions or bengals or bears, oh my. So will she be quick to lick, pick or make stick the 2023 game winner, that could

depend on who has the "purrfect" season. Who has the best "clawwwws" to win, who`s the "stalk" of the town and whether Misha`s "Super Bowl" is

filled with meat. I`m Carl Azuz. Today`s shout out takes us to Romeoville, Illinois where we are thrilled to see the students of

Romeoville High School. Come on back tomorrow for more CNN.