Baker Institute’s Medlock available to discuss natural gas price surge


David Ruth

Jeff Falk

Baker Institute’s Medlock available to discuss natural gas price surge

HOUSTON – (Jan. 9, 2018) – Natural gas surged to 60 times the going rate in the U.S. Northeast last week as the historic “bomb cyclone” unleashed blizzard conditions and drove demand for the furnace fuel across the region. The cyclone also led to a jump in heating oil use to heat homes and fuel oil use in the power sector.

Credit: University

Kenneth Medlock, senior director of the Center for Energy Studies at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, is available to discuss natural-gas pricing dynamics, the role of the nation’s pipeline infrastructure and the response of the power sector in the Northeast.

“Cold weather drives demand for natural gas,” Medlock said. “The lack of sufficient natural gas delivery capacity via pipeline, liquefied natural gas and storage in the Northeast creates scarcity of supply during high demand periods and drives up the price of natural gas delivered to the region.”

Medlock is the James A. Baker III and Susan G. Baker Fellow in Energy and Resource Economics at the Baker Institute. He is a principal in the development of the Rice World Natural Gas Trade Model, which is aimed at assessing the future of international natural gas trade. He has published numerous scholarly articles about his primary areas of interest: natural gas markets, energy commodity price relationships, gasoline markets, transportation, national oil company behavior, economic development and energy demand, and energy use and the environment.

Medlock is also the director of the Masters of Energy Economics program at Rice, holds adjunct professor appointments in the university’s Departments of Economics and Civil and Environmental Engineering and is the chair of the faculty advisory board for Rice’s Energy and Environment Initiative. He teaches advanced courses in energy economics and supervises Ph.D. students in the energy economics field.

To schedule an interview with Medlock, contact Jeff Falk, associate director of national media relations at Rice, at or 713-348-6775. The Baker Institute has a radio and television studio available.


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Founded in 1993, Rice University’s Baker Institute ranks among the top five university-affiliated think tanks in the world. As a premier nonpartisan think tank, the institute conducts research on domestic and foreign policy issues with the goal of bridging the gap between the theory and practice of public policy. The institute’s strong track record of achievement reflects the work of its endowed fellows, Rice University faculty scholars and staff, coupled with its outreach to the Rice student body through fellow-taught classes — including a public policy course — and student leadership and internship programs. Learn more about the institute at or on the institute’s blog,

About Jeff Falk

Jeff Falk is associate director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.