Gas flame via mckaysavage/flickr. Creative Commons 2.0 license.
A couple of months back I noted that the U.S. was burning through the stocks of natural gas we store in underground caverns at an unprecedented rate. These are the stocks that provide a buffer so that when the 50 percent of us that heat with natural gas turn on our furnaces each fall there will be enough gas to get through the winter. In the U.S. we usually burn through about two trillion cubic feet of stored natural gas each winter, but during 2012-2013 we went through three trillion, leaving only some 800 billion cubic feet left. If we can’t get two or three trillion cubic feet injected back into the storage caverns before November rolls around this fall, we could see much higher natural gas prices and even calls to dial back the thermostats before the storage caverns run short.