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Friday, January 02, 2004

The price of natural gas

This is beyond outrageous. There's a vacant building I take care of as part of my job. It’s one of those metal buildings, about 10,000 square feet, partially converted for office space, with a couple of large overhead garage doors in the back. (If anyone is looking for a building to rent, send me an e-mail.) Anyway, to conserve energy and dollars, we keep the thermostats turned down to the bare minimum. The gas bill for November was just over $60.00. I just got the gas bill for December. It was just under $600.00. Unfuckingreal! Remember, this is a vacant building and December weather was relatively mild. Enclosed with the bill was a letter explaining the rate hike. I couldn’t even read it past the first sentence. I immediately called the gas company (AmerenCILCO). The gal on the phone assured me that this particular rate hike applies only to commercial accounts. Okay. We’ll see.

A recent article in the Peoria Journal Star (AmerenCILCO, IP will hike natural gas rates) provides this explanation:

Parent company Ameren said in a news release the January price hike is because of a "recent dramatic increase in the wholesale price of natural gas." In December, wholesale prices have gone up by about 50 percent, Ameren said.

Hello, Earth to Ameren! From $60 to $600 is a lot more than 50%.

The article goes on:

The supply of natural gas in the United States has declined, while demand has increased sharply, said Ameren spokesman Leigh Morris. Consequently, demand is "driving costs upward," he said.

Here’s one suggestion. I don’t know if this will help a lot, but it might help a little: Stop fueling public transportation buses with natural gas. I mean, if the supply has declined, and people need natural gas for heating their homes, doesn’t it make sense to conserve as much as possible for heating and not transporation? Isn't heating more important? That's what I'm trying to say.

Posted by Marie at January 2, 2004 11:20 PM


You go get them Marie!

Posted by: Don at January 3, 2004 6:42 AM