It was surprising this September that the governor of Connecticut, Jodi Rell, would complain about U.S. natural gas industry leaders shutting in some production to protect their investors’ profit margins. Specifically, the governor maligned Chesapeake Energy Corp., and promptly received a succinct tutorial from Aubrey McClendon on U.S. natural gas economics. (See mcclendonlettertogovjodirellsept1907.pdf)Word is the governor was invited to speak, even to debate, McClendon at the John S. Herold Pacesetters’ conference in Connecticut that was a couple of weeks after the paper debate, and she declined. No more has been heard on the matter. The governor’s complaint was surprising because of what is one of Connecticut’s top imports (besides natural gas): Money made by its high-net-worth, institutional, private-equity and other investors. Many of these profit-takers have been riding the swell of higher energy prices and margins for several years. None would complain about the energy industry protecting business fundamentals. Clearly, one or some provided the Connecticut governor with a tutorial on the energy-investment business. Meanwhile, U.S. gas price fundamentals are improving with this week’s colder weather. Storage figures will be released later today, but Carin Dehne Kiley, E&P analyst for Calyon Securities (USA) Inc., forecasts the report will show a withdrawal of 80 Bcf for the week ending November 30. “Of the 19 analysts surveyed, withdrawal estimates range from 58 Bcf to 87 Bcf,” she reports. “…Should today’s figure come in as expected, inventories will stand 8.9% above the five-year average and 1.2% above last year’s level. Storage ended the week of 11/23/07 at 9.3% above the five-year average and 3.1% above last year’s level.” The work of Chesapeake and other producers in protecting margins will eventually show up in more competitive natural gas prices, which stood at about $7.40/MMBtu for January delivery at the time of this writing. Connecticut’s energy investors would surely prefer to write a slightly larger gas-bill check and get a much larger return on energy investment.