By Samantha Chang |The Western Journal
“We expect that households across the United States will spend more on energy this winter compared with the past several winters because of these higher energy prices and because we assume a slightly colder winter than last year in much of the United States,” the U.S. Energy Information Administration wrote in an alarming report Wednesday.
The EIA, which is the statistical arm of the Biden administration’s Department of Energy, said prices for all fuels will be higher this winter than in previous years, and those costs will be passed down to consumers.
“On average across the United States, we expect prices for all fuels to be higher than in recent winters,” the EIA wrote.
“Rising wholesale commodity prices for natural gas, crude oil, and petroleum products are being passed through to retail prices.”
Rocketing energy prices aren’t surprising after President Joe Biden undercut America’s oil independence by stopping construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline and halting new oil and gas leases on public lands.
This was part of a sweeping initiative to make climate change a focal point of his administration’s domestic and foreign policies.
So far, all it did was erode the nation’s energy independence, eliminate energy-sector jobs and set the stage for higher utility costs for all Americans, including sky-high gas prices. That’s what we’re seeing now.
The EIA report said Americans will be impacted by steep energy prices regardless of which fuel source they use to heat their homes.
- “We forecast that households in [the South, Northeast and the Midwest] will spend $631 (54%) more on average for propane this winter compared with last winter.”
- “We expect households that use natural gas as their primary space heating fuel will spend $746 this winter, 30% more than they spent last winter.”
- “We expect that households heating with propane in the Northeast will spend an average of $2,012, which would be 47% more than last winter.”
- “We forecast that U.S. households that heat primarily with electricity will spend an average of $1,268 this winter on their electricity bills, which is 6% more than last winter.”
Naturally, these heating costs will be even higher if the winter is colder than expected: Propane users would see a 94 percent price increase, according to the EIA.
It will be unspeakably tragic if people freeze to death because they can’t afford to pay their sky-high heating bills.
Biden and the Democratic Party claim to champion the middle class and low-income groups, but those are the people who are being hurt the most by surging energy prices and rampant inflation.
Mark Wolfe, executive director of the National Energy Assistance Directors’ Association, said the poorest Americans will suffer the most.
“This is going to create significant hardship for people in the bottom third of the country,” Wolfe told The Associated Press. “You can tell them to cut back and try to turn down the heat at night, but many low-income families already do that. Energy was already unaffordable to them.”
Carol Hardison is the CEO of Crisis Assistance Ministry, which helps poor people in Charlotte, North Carolina.
She agreed that surging consumer prices will hurt low-income Americans the most.
Where are Americans seeing inflation? A lot of places:
Rental cars +43% over last Sept
Gas 42% Used cars 24%
Kids' shoes 12%
New cars 9%
Restaurant prices: 5%
Hardison told the AP that households seeking her group’s assistance this year have unpaid bills that are twice as high as they were a year ago.
Samantha Chang is a politics writer, lawyer and financial editor based in New York City.