Most everyone who uses natural gas in the U.S.A. is probably noticing or about to notice a shocking increase in cost. The story is that reserves are low and gas producers haven’t been able to drill because of Wall Street profit-taking, so supplies are short.
Well, I don’t believe it and here’s a why. For the past 20 years, winter temperatures in the Northeastern U.S. have been steadily rising due to climate change. I’ve seen the data and recorded some of my own. I’m an engineer and it’s been my habit for decades to keep daily records on gas and electricity consumption.
Where we used to have 12 to 18 inches of snow on the ground at times during winters here in West Virginia, now there’s just a light dusting or none at all. The trend became very obvious about six years ago with almost no snow on the ground for the past six years. The near constant grinding of snowplows is replaced with silence. In 2018 I bought a nice new snowthrower. It’s never been used even once. It’s been sitting in the basement for the past four years.
For the past several years, natural gas consumption in my home has been half what it’s been in the past. From the middle of January to the middle of February, our daily gas consumption for heating was usually 1,000 to 1,400 cubic feet per day. Today it’s 600 or less.
There shouldn’t be a shortage when consumption is half what it used to be. I think the natural gas providers are not happy with their reduced sales due to climate change and have raised prices to maintain profits.
Gas prices in southern california:
January 23 345 cents per therm.
January 22 84 cents per therm.
I am so glad I kicked natural to side 18 months ago.
Better for my wallet & my conscience
See? You’re part of the problem. (Just kidding.)
“Stop using our product and we’ll raise the price.” What? Since when was that a good business strategy? I suspect this is an unusual case because it’s a shrinking industry so the strategy is “milk it quick while we still can.”
Prices didn’t jump quite that much in West Virginia, possibly because WV is all about producing natural gas. A lot of people work in that industry, and a bigger price jump would raise too many eyebrows. “Four-hundred percent increase? So my paycheck is going up, right? Right?”