http://mypaloaltoplumberhero.com/?feed=rss2 Interest perked up again on nat gas chat and how it deserves more respect in US energy policy. The latest commentary postulates a shift from nukes to gas fired plants over the longer term due to increased costs caused by safety and regulatory concerns. But here are some of the shorter term trends that have failed to support gas prices near the $4 :
1.) Cold weather- in the middle of winter cold weather brought gas prices briefly to the $4.50 level then collapsed.
2.) Government storage data and draw- no discernable impact on long term prices. Moves short term prices only.
3.) The EPA concerns about “fracking” or shale hydraulic fractioning. Shale mining is the major source of nat gas oversupply.
Nat gas may eventually get the attention of congress but even the arcane energy policy of ethanol tax credits has too much lobbying firepower. And coal has rallied with the nuclear disaster so despite its “dirty” reputation. Concern about miner jobs and abundant supply has made coal the favorite as of late.
Despite all the renewed interest in nat gas analysts are not predicting major price increases longer term. But the $5.00 level is possible by July if the trend continues.