Center for Political Awareness

Natural Gas is a Climate Scam — and Consumers are Paying for It

Despite the fracking boom, the price of natural gas for US households has skyrocketed by 52 percent since 2016.

Demonstrators rally outside the offices of the mayor and city council of the District of Columbia to protest against PROJECTpipes and demand a shift to renewable sources of energy on June 9, 2023, in Washington, D.C. CHIP SOMODEVILLA / GETTY IMAGES

 

Despite the fracking boom that made the United States the world’s top fossil fuel producer, the price households pay for natural gas skyrocketed by 52 percent between 2016 and 2023. The increase in energy bills was fueled in part by a surge in liquified natural gas (LNG) exports to foreign markets that is enriching the domestic fossil fuel industry, according to a new report released by the watchdog group Public Citizen this week.

Domestic natural gas production increased by 45 percent between 2016 and 2023, but the price manufacturers and other businesses paid for it rose by 31 percent over the same time frame. In June 2022, natural gas prices plunged by 30 percent after a fiery accident and massive explosion shut down an LNG export terminal in Freeport, Texas, underscoring the link between exports and domestic prices.

While global natural gas prices have cooled since the Russian invasion of Ukraine shocked the market in 2022, the cost of natural gas used by utilities to produce electricity is still 17 percent above 2016 levels, according to the report. U.S. households and businesses paid a total of $106 billion more for electricity in 2023 than in 2016. That increase has hit low-income families especially hard, with an estimated one in six households behind on energy bills as of January 2024.

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