Experts warn Americans to brace for rising heat cost this winter

by mcardinal

Chris Lange, FISM News


Americans, already hit with rising inflation costs, are about to face another blow, as national gas prices already up 180% from last year, are expected to continue to soar into the winter months. 

According to the National Energy Assistance Directors Association, homeowners can expect to see about a 30% increase in their heating bills this winter, bringing the average cost of heating a home from $572 to $750. 

According to a Reuters report, the cost of natural gas in the U.S. has more than doubled this year and oil prices have increased 52%. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) says the increase is due, in part, to a dwindling supply of oil and natural gas that has caused crude prices to remain above $73.

“Right now it’s really the economy that’s pushing prices higher,” said Gasbuddy analyst Patrick De Haan in an interview on “Mornings with Maria,” noting that “the limitations on new drilling could eventually become an issue.”

According to De Haan, Biden’s aggressive climate change agenda has had a “profound impact” on the oil and gas sector. Shortly after taking office, Biden suspended the issuance of oil and gas permits on federal lands, followed by the cancellation of the Keystone XL oil pipeline project in early spring, despite campaign promises to the contrary. Growing concerns over how to pay for Biden’s massive $3.5 trillion budget bill is another factor likely to increase fuel costs. 

Last week, Mark Wolfe, executive director of the National Energy Assistance Directors Association, told AP News that increased demand for natural gas is one of the factors forcing prices up. “Consumers got used to very low prices last year, because with the pandemic everything was shut down,” he said. “Now, everything’s coming back online, industry is returning and natural gas is being used again in very large quantities. And that’s pushing up the price.” 

The strain of rising fuel costs is being felt in other parts of the world as well, forcing some companies in Europe and Asia that rely on natural gas out of business. Some industries that have been adversely affected include small energy companies, fertilizer producers, and heavy industries such as concrete and aluminum producers. 

The U.S. supplies natural gas products to Europe and Asia. As those products become increasingly expensive, companies are being forced to pass costs onto consumers around much of the globe. Experts expect natural gas prices to continue to rise as colder weather will increase consumer dependency on fuel.