A story in today’s Wall Street Journal (September 14, 2022) points out that the while U.S. consumers are getting a reprieve from high gasoline prices, a large jump in electricity and natural-gas costs are increasing their energy bills as winter approaches. The index for electricity in August climbed 15.8% over the same month a year ago, the biggest such 12-month increase since 1981. The story goes on to point out that electricity price increases have been driven by rising prices for natural gas, which powers about 37% of U.S. electricity production and that heating and cooking costs have increased 33% over the last 12 months.
A recent article published in Commonwealth Magazine by EPRINC Trustee Larry Goldstein and former Congressman Joe Kennedy highlight the dire circumstances faced by many low-income Americans as we head into winter. A main source of assistance for low-income families is the federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP. The program is now facing a 50 percent funding cut at a time skyrocketing energy cost. Rising energy costs also highlight’s the importance of sustaining adequate production of legacy fuels until low-cost and low-carbon alternatives are freely available to consumers.