Inflation, Exports and Natural Gas Prices

Sean O’Leary wrote an excellent Ohio River Valley Institute blog on October 13, 2022 about the past, present and future of natural gas prices.

Source: Author’s calculation based on EIA U.S. Price of Natural Gas Delivered to Residential Customers. Consumer Price Index calculation using the Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI Calculator.

“Natural gas inflation has been worse during some periods, such as the early 2000s, than it has during others but it has always been bad. Even in the last decade, during which gas prices temporarily came down, they did so from hyperinflationary peaks and only returned to a baseline level that is still 20% above the overall rate of inflation in Pennsylvania and 30% nationally. Consequently, every time your gas furnace or gas water heater goes on and every time you turn on a light, you’re paying a premium. The bad news is that it’s getting worse.”

Sean O’Leary | ORVI Blog

Aboveground Storage Tank (AST) at a drilling and fracking site. Credit: Marcellus Air

To the degree the US continues to build out pipelines and other infrastructure that give US production access to Europe, Asia, and other regions, the prices we pay for natural gas and electricity produced using natural gas will be set by global commodity markets. Expanding US natural gas production and transportation capacity in order to meet demand in higher priced global markets will drive down prices in those markets, but only at the expense of raising them here in the US.

Sean O’Leary | ORVI Blog

Natural gas fired power plant. Credit: Marcellus Air

“PA is the second largest gas-producing state, but we haven’t gotten ‘a bargain’. The Commonwealth’s residents have benefitted only slightly as compared to the rest of the nation. Generally, retail gas prices in Pennsylvania have closely tracked those of the nation.”

Sean O’Leary | ORVI Blog


Gov. Wolf: Legislature Leaves Harrisburg Failing to Act on Issues to Support, Protect Pennsylvanians
Oct 26, 2022 – As the General Assembly leaves the Capitol on the last scheduled legislative session day, Governor Tom Wolf today said significant issues were left on the table — issues that Pennsylvanians support and would move our commonwealth forward. “As the 2021-22 legislative session draws to a close, it’s extremely disappointing that ​measures ​that would have lifted up Pennsylvanians, strengthened democracy through important election reforms, and improved public health and safety in our communities ​will not be addressed,” Gov. Wolf said. “Yet again, Republicans in the General Assembly have failed to prioritize the real needs of Pennsylvanians.”

Doctors decry ‘record profits’ for fossil fuel companies as climate change weighs on global health
“The burning of fossil fuels is creating a health crisis that I can’t fix by the time I see patients in my emergency department,” said Dr. Renee Salas, summarizing the findings of a report published Tuesday in The Lancet. “Fossil fuel companies are making record profits while my patients suffer from their downstream health harms.” As in previous reports, the 2022 Lancet Countdown paints a grim picture of how climate change is threatening people’s health and the care systems that are supposed to help manage it, calling its latest findings the “direst” yet.

Apple announces new clean energy investments, asks suppliers to decarbonize
The company in 2020 had pledged to remove carbon emissions from its entire business, including products and its sprawling supply chain – which spans from Vietnam to Brazil – by 2030. More than 200 suppliers, representing 70% of Apple’s direct manufacturing spending and including Corning Inc, Nitto Denko Corp, SK Hynix Inc, STMicroelectronics, TSMC and Yuto, have committed to using clean power such as wind or solar for all Apple production, Apple said.

Satellites detect methane plume in Nord Stream leak
Although closed at the time, the two Nord Stream stems contained enough gas to release 300,000 tonnes of methane – more than twice the amount released by the Aliso Canyon leak in California over several months in 2015-16. As large as it may be, the Nord Stream release pales in comparison with the 80 million tonnes emitted each year by the oil and gas industry. The latest release is roughly equivalent to one and a half days of global methane emissions.

New Research Bolsters Theory that Climate Change Will Make Our Space Trash Problem Even Worse
Two massive, catastrophic problems are set to become one in the near future: Climate change is likely to worsen the issue of space debris, according to a study published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters last month. Shifts in air density could result in an extra-crowded upper atmosphere, making satellite collisions more likely. What’s more, the recent research projects that, under middle-of-the-road climate scenarios, the upper atmosphere will lose density twice as fast in the future as it has in the past.

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