Keeping warm may be more expensive as inflation rises – Reason.com

Rising inflation and rising fuel demand mean that most Americans will see big increases in their winter heating bills this year. The US Department of Energy warned in a report released on Wednesday.

About half of American households rely on natural gas for heating, and would pay about 30 percent more for heating than last year — and possibly as much as 50 percent if winters were 10 percent cooler than expected, the department estimates. That means the average household that depends on natural gas to stay warm this winter will pay $746 between October and March, up from an average of about $570 last year. Homes heated with propane or heating oil, which account for about 9 percent of American households, will also see costs rise more than 40 percent, while homes heated by electricity can expect a 6 percent smaller increase than last year. .

“The looming increase, as well as higher prices for many consumer goods and commodities, is likely to put pressure on Americans at many income levels. Economists warn that larger utility bills are likely to affect those families still battered by the Covid virus. -19. Pandemic Reports The Wall Street Journal.

The sharp increase in projected home heating costs is partly due to lower-than-normal prices last year, as the pandemic caused demand for fuels of all kinds to fall during 2020 and prices fell accordingly. But the forecast for next winter expects prices to be well above baselines for 2019 as well:

Fuel costs are one of the driving factors behind the high levels of inflation that the country is currently facing. The monthly Consumer Price Index report released on Wednesday showed the annual inflation rate stood at 5.4 percent, with energy prices rising more than 24 percent in the past 12 months.

High energy prices are a global problem at the moment. In Europe, the price of gasoline has risen in recent months and energy prices as a whole are rising – although part of the problem is a complex pricing scheme imposed by the European Union that disrupts price signals to consumers, financial times Notes. All of Lebanon was without electricity last weekend as the state-run electricity grid temporarily collapsed.

Ann Bradbury, chief executive of the US Exploration and Production Council, a trade association representing energy companies, said in a statement the situation in Europe should be a warning to the Biden administration as it considers plans for higher taxes and new regulations that it will only keep. Energy price increase. “With policies that restrict supplies and make it difficult to produce oil and natural gas here in America, Americans will have to pay more for their energy,” she said.

There is a lot of speculation that current levels of inflation underestimate what is happening in the economy right now. So-called shadow inflation occurs in ways that may not appear in the CPI – rather than raising prices, for example, some companies may cut services or take longer to get things done.

“The 2021 version of many services is not quite the same as the 2019 version, but statisticians have treated it the same, although some have gotten significantly worse, because they don’t have a rigorous way of quantifying how much,” wrote Alan Cole, former chief economist at the Joint Economic Committee. Congress, in his book full stack economics the news. “The result has been further inflation on an unmeasured dimension of quality: instead of paying more for the same good, in many places you are paying the same amount for something less than it was before.”

Shadow inflation can’t really happen in the energy sector, so Americans feel the full brunt of the price hike. Now, we’re facing an expensive winter. Even without any additional burdens from federal policymakers raising prices or hampering supply, fuel prices are a stark reminder that rising inflation — which can linger longer than anyone would like — has dire consequences for nearly everyone.

free minds

Field Trip, a Canadian startup, is betting that more Americans will be willing to try psychotherapy with drugs like MDMA and psilocybin. The company operates clinics in Los Angeles, New York and Toronto, but has ambitious plans to open another 75 locations over the next three years, Fox Reports:

Although ketamine is legal if prescribed by a doctor, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) lists narcotics such as psilocybin and MDMA in Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act, which states that they have no medicinal value and a high potential for abuse. But there is also growing evidence that psychedelic drugs can be game-changing and, when combined with conventional treatment, may help people who do not see results with currently available treatments. Several US cities have already decriminalized psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is overseeing clinical trials of using psychedelic drugs to treat PTSD and depression.

This potentially revolutionary approach to mental health also represents a huge business opportunity for healthcare and pharmaceutical companies. But despite promising privately funded studies on psychedelic drugs, current government regulations prevent the wide availability of psychedelic therapy.

and read reasonNick Gillespie talks about how the slow legalization of MDMA and other narcotics is creating opportunities for investors and individuals who want to expand their horizons.

Free Markets

There is no simple solution to the problems plaguing supply chains at the moment, but the Jones Act makes matters worse:

quick beats

• The Food and Drug Administration will vote Thursday on whether to recommend an emergency authorization of COVID-19-boosted shots for people who have received the Moderna vaccine. A vote on Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine boosters is expected on Friday.

• Katie Couric admits that she is a hacker.

• Former President Donald Trump has a bold strategy for the 2022 and 2024 elections:

• Czech voters defeat the populist.

• Playing video games is not associated with lower personal well-being:

• There may be more shoes to drop after the dismissal of NFL coach John Gruden made anti-gay comments in emails. The NFL Players Association is asking the league to release more than 650,000 emails it collected while investigating workplace misconduct.

• Captain Kirk went into space yesterday and was very impressed by the experience.

• Nokia will relaunch its classic mobile phone “Brick” to celebrate its 20th anniversary. It may still work.

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