America’s Next Hot Import Might Be Record Energy Prices

America’s Next Hot Import Might Be Record Energy Prices

Natural-gas, coal and electricity prices are all running abnormally high, far too early

Today’s high energy prices could be a preview of coming attractions—a real horror movie if this winter is cold.

Benchmark U.S. natural-gas prices edged above $5 per million British thermal units this month, near their highest since 2014, but they are fairly tame compared with levels in Europe and Asia. The inventory situation seems less dire at home too as underground natural-gas storage grows. The problem is that seasonal stockpiling isn’t happening quickly enough, with inventories 7.1% below their five-year average and less margin for error.

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