The corporations who control the natural gas wells decided to lower production so that the price would go up. PGW may have been able to avoid most of the rate increase, had it bought and stored more gas, in the storage tanks Consumers have already paid for. Only time tell it PGW could have avoided the rate hikes.
Almost 1/3 of our gas bills is the equivalent of a sales tax to pay for PGW's great and much-needed anti-poverty program, CRP. What is shocking is that instead of using tax dollars, the City and PGW use natural gas bills to fund the program.
If anyone were to suggest a tax on milk or water to pay for the City's anti-poverty programs, it would be seen as regressive and rejected. Why then should we accept a sur charge on our PGW bills to pay for the anti-poverty program.