Skyrocketed methane gas prices are pushing some California restaurants to the brink of closure, the LA Times reports, even as the gas industry uses restaurants to fight stove regulations. While methane gas prices have fallen elsewhere in the U.S. — in part because Freeport LNG remained shutdown, preventing the sale and shipment of about 20% of U.S. export capacity — California’s have continued to rise.
California gas prices normally rise somewhat at this time of year, and Tre Dinh, owner of Pho 87 in LA’s Chinatown, typically raises prices about 25¢. This year, however, with an $8,000 January gas bill that’s 10 times higher than the restaurant’s November bill, he’s considering raising prices as much as $1.50, or even closing temporarily. “I’m not just worried about us. I’m worried about the whole community,” Dinh told The Times. Paul Cao, chef-owner of Burnt Crumbs in Irvine, said “If they keep increasing gas prices by 60% every month, we are not going to last. We can’t be selling $25 sandwiches.” (LA Times $)