by Tim Pearce
Natural gas prices in the New York City region skyrocketed in January, costing New Yorkers roughly 46 times more than the 2017 average for the area, according to a Tuesday report from the Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA).
Despite neighboring natural gas rich Pennsylvania, New York residents pay 44 percent more for energy than the national average. A lack of transportation infrastructure between the two states has effectively cut off New Yorkers from a large supply of fuel.
“Spot market prices in the New York City region jumped to a record high of $140.25 for natural gas, as compared to the average natural gas spot market price for New York in 2017 was $3.08,” CEA found. “New Yorkers were subjected to prices that were $137 higher due to self-inflicted capacity constraints created by their own elected officials.”
Due largely to a lack of oil and gas infrastructure, much of New England was forced to rely on imported natural gas from Russia to keep neighborhoods heated during over the winter. Parts of New England sit on one of the largest deposits of shale oil in the U.S., the Marcellus shale formation that covers parts of New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Natural gas makes up a significant part of the energy mixture in New York, despite the limits to infrastructure imposed by state officials. More than half of all New York residents heat their homes with natural gas, and the sector supports nearly 200,000 jobs in the state.
“This report highlights the often-overlooked benefits New York’s communities are receiving because of the U.S. energy revolution, enhanced infrastructure, and pipelines,” CEA Mid-Atlantic Director Mike Butler said in a statement. “However, New York families, businesses, and households will not be able to realize the full potential of these benefits until natural gas plays a larger role in the state to offset intermittency issues and the physical realities of the state’s electric grid.”
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