US Shatters All-Time Record For Natural Gas Usage During Arctic Freeze

Chris White | Energy Reporter

The U.S. broke a record Monday for most natural gas ever burned amid a prolonged winter freeze that as covered half of the country under a thick layer of snow.

Americans used more gas during the most-recent cold snap than they did during the so-called polar vortex that covered the U.S.’ eastern half with arctic air in 2014, according to data from PointLogic Energy, an oil and gas firm that monitor gas usage.

The country consumed more than 143 billion cubic feet of gas as temperatures dipped to all-time lows on New Year’s Day, the data show. Prices for natural gas skyrocketed to the highest level in a month — gas is not the only fossil fuel states are turning to for warmth this winter.

Coal-fired power generation also jumped from around 20,000 megawatts on Christmas to more than 45,000 megawatts, according to a Dec. 29 report from Bloomberg. Demand for oil also jumped sixfold, Bloomberg reported.

Access to gas, oil, and coal come as snowstorms and frigid temperatures continue to hit parts of the Northeast and the Midwest. Pennsylvania county was clobbered with 60 inches of snow in two days following Christmas day – the national guard was used to help keep the state’s roads clear and residents safe.

Northern Erie County, Penn., accumulated over 60 inches of snow a day after Christmas, according to Cleveland’s National Weather Service (NWS), GoErie.com reports. Thirty-four inches of snow descended on Christmas Day, marking a single-day record snowfall in Erie.

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