Polar vortex exposes natural gas supply problem

Frigid temperatures led to a rise in natural gas prices, exposing a weakness in the infrastructure. Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images

As the U.S. thaws out from the deep freeze that gripped much of the nation this week, the Northeast region is also recovering from a spike in natural gas prices.

However, as Reuters’ Julie Edwards reports, the dramatic price increase was a result of “critical weaknesses in the natural gas system” that supplies the Northeast.

Edwards wrote that the frigid temperatures placed an intense demand on natural gas pipelines to supply homes and power plants with energy. However, the construction of pipelines to deliver natural gas has not kept pace with the natural gas supply. According to Edwards, while natural gas drilling has increased, “a lack of pipelines has left some areas vulnerable to shortages this year and potentially for years to come.”