Intricate linkages connect natural gas, electricity, heating oil, gasoline

During the past year a series of US energy supply concerns caused extensive unease about the availability and cost of heating oil, the price of gasoline-in what threatened to be a repeat of last year's price spikes-and natural gas price in- creases and supply concerns. Natural gas prices rose sharply-in certain cases much more than oil. California electricity consumers faced both drastic price increases and "rolling blackouts," with other parts of the country possibly vulnerable as well. Although crude prices played a role in the higher costs of oil products, lately the cost of crude has averaged about $6/bbl below its November 2000 peak and about the same as a year ago. Thus, other f...

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