Natural gas is an important source of energy for U.S. farms. While U.S. natural gas futures prices have fallen sharply recently, CoBank says higher prices and increased volatility could be on the long-term horizon as the energy transition accelerates and European markets respond to recent supply constraints.
Rising U.S. exports of liquefied natural gas, fewer opportunities for fuel switching between coal and gas, and supply chain bottlenecks may contribute to higher domestic energy costs in the future. “Over the past 100 years, the U.S. has been a natural gas island with domestic supply sufficient to meet the nation’s requirements,” says a CoBank report. “From a pricing perspective, domestic consumers benefited from their proximity to natural gas reserves and experienced only brief periods of high prices.”
However, as natural gas production expanded, it became necessary for exports to grow, increasing potential price volatility as the U.S. and EU markets became more connected.