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Politicians Fret as US Northeast Faces Pricey Winter

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Consumers in the Northeast of the US could find themselves competing on the international markets for fuel to heat their homes this winter. A lack of infrastructure connecting New England to the rest of the country and minefield of legacy US energy policies leave the region’s energy situation looking more like that of European countries than US states. Just two pipelines totaling 3.1 billion cubic feet per day of capacity feed the region and it has little gas storage, according to the nonprofit Energy Policy Research Foundation. That means power companies must turn to the global LNG market when gas use spikes, especially in cold winter months (see table). The Energy Information Administration is projecting residential retail prices of $21.70 per thousand cubic feet in the first quarter of 2023, about 50% higher than the national average. The lack of gas also has left the area heavily reliant on home heating oil. But inventories for distillate fuel oils are significantly lower than in years past and two refineries feeding the region facing extended maintenance. Officials want to avoid a winter with soaring heating prices or, worse, one where customers struggle to find oil to fill up heating tanks.

Topics:
Diesel/Gasoil, Gas Prices, Oil Products, Policy and Regulation, Trade
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