With things escalating quickly between Russia and Ukraine, we know how it affects politics.

But did you know that the tensions between the two countries actually affects us directly right here in Amarillo?

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I know, you're sitting there thinking to yourself, how is that even possible? Neither one has any beef with Amarillo. You'd be correct, they don't. There are however things that are controlled by overseas issues, and those things will directly affect not just us, but everyone in the country.

WHY IS THE U.S. GETTING INVOLVED?

This is ALWAYS the question when other countries are against one another. It feels like the United States always steps in the middle of it. Immediate thought is that we want to flex our muscles as the "superpower" and try to fix everyone's problems.

Turns out, that's not really the case. The citizens of our country suffer when it begins to affect the supply chain. Out interest is helping issues get resolved quickly so it doesn't affect us, the ones who live here and have to pay for others problems.

WHAT DOES RUSSIA PROVIDE FOR US?

One thing I've learned in all this is that Russia is actually a big time producer of things like oil and natural gas. While it seems EVERY country is a major oil producer, it's the natural gas thing I didn't know about. Think about all the things that are powered on natural gas that you use on a daily basis. With Russia being such a big exporter of it, them being in a war of any sort will affect the delivery of this oil and natural gas.

WHERE DOES UKRAINE COME INTO PLAY HERE?

Back in 1991, Ukraine gained its freedom and independence from the Soviet Union. It became a democratic state and its economy began to boom. The U.S. and Ukraine have a treaty that allows us to export things such as coal, vehicles, aircrafts, fish & seafood among other things. On the flipside, Ukraine provides the U.S. iron & steel, oil, agricultural products and inorganic chemicals. A breakdown in this supply chain would affect both countries in various ways.

SO HOW DOES THIS AFFECT AMARILLO?

In the most basic of terms, we will see a rise in gas prices (already seeing that unfortunately) as well as an uptick in your energy bill. Those are the two major things being discussed, and both of those things are affected directly by Russia as they're the ones who are the big oil and natural gas providers. The lack of exporting oil from Ukraine is another reason you'll see gas prices move upward, but we could see the cost of items requiring iron and steel begin to rise. Remember when the cost of wood drove up? Yeah, think the same thing on the iron and steel side of things should this drag out too long.

So keep your eyes on this because it does affect us in our every day lives, especially when it's cold outside like it has been. Turn that heat on to stay warm, just expect to pay a little more for it this month...and maybe future months.

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