‘The Other Gas Crisis’

By October 27, 2005Energy

Under this banner, the Chicago Tribune ran an excellent editorial earlier this month that just made its way to us. Our Chicago readers have already seen it no doubt, but its message bears repeating. In fact, it echoes a lot of what you’ve seen ’round the blog these days, i.e., that the real crisis isn’t the price of gasoline but rather the price of natural gas, and more specifically, lack of supply of natural gas. Among the great points made therein:

— Natural gas heats more than half the nation’s homes and four out of five homes in the Midwest;
— The Energy Department predicts that natural gas costs will rise 50%, assuming a normal winter;
— About 17% of the nation’s electricity is generated by natural gas. It’s clean and environmentally-friendly;
— Natural gas prices have quadrupled since 2001, because — stop us if you’ve heard this one — supply has remained stagnant while demand has soared;
— Natural gas prices are set on a local, not international, market. If we increase US supply, it will directly impact US prices.

Faithful blog readers have heard all of this before. Says the Tribune, the high price of natural gas, “Can’t be blamed on OPEC or…oil companies. The nation has resisted drilling because of environmental concerns.” (Read: “pressure”). Right now, as you read this, there are 420 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves in the Outer Continental Shelf, yet federal moratorium blocks access to 85% of it.

Like we said, if you’re shivering this winter, or if you’re paying twice as much to heat your home, go thank one of the tiny band of radical environmentalists who have had a death grip on our energy policy for 30 years. Or, you could just click here to tell your Member of Congress and your Senators to do something about it.