Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) questioned some of the Unites States’ largest natural gas producers about exporting “record amounts” of heating fuels as Americans head into the winter months while energy prices continue to climb.
“I am writing regarding my concern about rising natural gas prices for American consumers, the impact this will have for families struggling to pay their bills and keep their homes warm this winter,” Warren wrote in letters (pdf) dated Nov. 23.
The letters were addressed to the chief executive officers from 11 natural gas producers, including ConocoPhillips, EQT, Exxon Mobil, Coterra, BP, Antero Resources, Chesapeake Energy Corporation, Ascent Resources, Southwestern Energy Company, Range Resources Corporation, and Occidental Petroleum Corporation.
Warren said that the increase of utility prices “are being driven by energy companies’ corporate greed and profiteering” as they “moved record amounts of U.S. gas out of the country” to Canada, Mexico, and European and Asian countries, citing a Wall Street Journal article dated Nov. 7.
She called on these corporations to answer her questions about their rationale to export record amounts of natural gas ahead of the winter months, giving them a deadline of Dec. 7, 2021.
Warren was among the 11 Democratic senators who signed a letter on Nov. 8, asking President Joe Biden to tackle the soaring energy prices by banning exports of U.S.-produced crude oil.
In addition to Warren, the Democratic senators include Sens. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Margaret Hassan (D-N.H.), Edward Markey (D-Mass.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio).
“As the United States work[s] to boost the development of clean and renewable energy over the long-term, we must ensure that Americans are able to afford to fill up their cars at the pump in the meantime,” the senators wrote.
The energy shortage in Europe and Asia has boosted demand for American liquefied natural gas, leading to rising energy prices. The shale sector’s spending restraint on gas production and the roadblocks limiting the construction of more pipelines have also raised concerns about power outages in some parts of the country, Bloomberg reported.
The U.S. benchmark price of heating fuel has almost doubled this year, while energy prices in Europe have also surged to record levels.