Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Columns

March 17, 2014

CONFER: State's foot-dragging aggravates our energy woes

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — I don’t have to tell you that it’s been a miserable winter in the northeast. We’ve been battered by an array of winter storms, from Polar Vortices to blizzards, and a seemingly endless barrage of below-average temperatures. 

This, of course, has led to higher than normal use of home heating fuels. Furnaces have been working overtime just to maintain a livable heat in households and businesses buffeted by the biting arctic winds.

Those of us from rural areas of upstate New York are especially pained by it. Where we live, there aren’t natural gas lines serving every house, so we opt for home delivery of propane. Back in October, propane prices were relatively reasonable in the $1.70 per gallon range. Now, it’s in the range of $3.30 per gallon. That’s a 94 percent spike in heating costs over the course of the season on a per unit basis alone. So it’s safe to say most homeowners (who didn’t opt for pre-buys or locked-in prices) are faced with heating bills more than double the size of last year’s.

Even though one would think that propane prices should be at all-time lows due to the explosion in fuel acquisition from Marcellus Shale deposits, it’s not the case due to an overwhelming number of issues affecting supply and delivery. Demand for home heating is high. Lots more propane is being used to dry corn due to a wet crop in the Midwest. A pipeline once used to bring propane to New York now sends ethanol south. The lack of propane pipelines forces mass delivery by rail, which is already strained by oil shipments. Propane exports are at record-high levels, there is a lack of adequate storage and heavy snowfall prevented tractor trailers from moving propane.

Text Only
Columns
Featured Ads
Photos


Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Front page
AP Video
Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: MH17 Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel Clinton: "AIDS-Free Generation Within Our Reach" Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch
Seasonal Content
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: MH17 Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel Clinton: "AIDS-Free Generation Within Our Reach" Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch
Seasonal Content
Helium debate
Helium
Section Teases

Seasonal Content
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.