Gas customers, and specifically those who get their gas from Montana-Dakota Utilities which serves about 115,000 homes and businesses in North Dakota, may be paying about $170 more, on average, for gas this year.
This isn’t profiteering. Utilities such as MDU don’t mark up the price of gas. It’s a pass-through price for them, as you can see on your utility bills.
Energy markets are complex, the product of variables too numerous to mention here, but in this instance, the reason for the spike in the price of natural gas is easy to understand.
We’ve made ourselves far more dependent on power sources like wind and solar which, because they cannot be relied on to provide consistent baseload power, must be buttressed by natural gas plants. This has driven up the demand for natural gas, both in the United States and globally, at a time when the oil and gas industry is pitted against the headwinds of myopic environmental activism.