Weekly Focus: Positively Charged News

Week Beginning November 28, 2022More than 400 groups are calling on Congress to intervene in an ongoing railroad labor standoff, which could lead to a strike. If a strike happens, as much as 30% of the United States’ cargo shipments by weight would be stuck in railyards.
For the second week in a row, heating oil prices have gone down. This week, heating oil is averaging $5.454 per gallon on the East Coast, down $0.351 per gallon from the previous week.
Just in time for Thanksgiving travel, gasoline prices were down $0.073 per gallon to $3.538 per gallon this week.
Diesel prices are down $0.063 per gallon this week to an average of $5.411 per gallon on the East Coast.
Propane prices are still holding steady, averaging $3.567 per gallon on the East Coast this week, down $0.043 per gallon from last week.
Natural Gas
The NYMEX 12-month strip rose $0.45/dth on the week, the second week in a row of weekly gains. The increase seems mostly related to start of winter season-type impacts. On the supply side, we saw the season’s first withdrawal, which coupled with a larger than normal pull forecasted next week, helped drive the market up. Also adding to uncertainty on the supply side is the ongoing unknowns related to a potential U.S. rail strike in December, an issue that could influence coal availability and therefore, as an alternative source, natural gas demand. Perhaps a stronger impact was seen on the demand side as the mild start to November has given way to more normal cool late fall temperatures. A slightly colder than normal December in the Northern one-third of the U.S. is looking more likely than was forecast a few weeks ago. Temperatures are turning colder in Europe and parts of Asia, as well as recent LNG demand reached a five-month high of 12.2 Bcf/day. The market is also nervous about recent comments by Russia threatening further natural gas supply cuts to Europe, making the region more dependent on other sources like the U.S.
The market may have some strength to the upside as it reacts to the expiration of the December contract on Monday and the entering to the start of the heart of the December – February heating season.
Power forwards jumped $7/MWh last week for the 12-month strip. NY UCAP only had some small movement, but continues its trend upward. PJM RECs were unchanged. 
Last week, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed a law that would ban certain bitcoin mining operations in the state unless they run on 100% renewable energy. New York State is working to curb its carbon footprint, and many bitcoin mines use electricity from power plants that burn fossil fuels.