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Thursday, September 29, 2005

Getting colder

Let's take a look at those natural gas prices again:

The $13.907 is yesterday's close. The price as of 9:51 today is $14.37--a new record high. Gasoline futures are back up to $2.35 a gallon, meaning you'll see $3 at the pump again real soon, if you haven't already. Crude prices aren't rising as dramatically, probably because the loss of refining capacity due to Katrina and Rita has left some oil with no place to go. Still, $66.84 would have been a record high less than two months ago.

High gasoline prices are being blamed for a record high rate of late payments on credit cards, and this is before the winter heating crunch:
Heating a typical home with natural gas in colder parts of the country is now expected to cost $1,568 this winter, up 64 percent from $957 last year, according to estimates from the National Energy Assistance Directors' Association, which coordinates energy relief for lower-income families.

The news is not much better for homes using heating oil. This winter's heating bill could rise by nearly a third, to $1,666, from $1,263 last winter, the group said. Its forecasts are based on estimates made after Hurricane Katrina but before Rita.
Elsewhere:
(Some links via Politics in the Zeros)