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Source: US Energy Information Administration

In much of the United States, power plants that burn petroleum liquids are generally operated for short periods during times of peak electricity demand, such as during brief periods of cold winter weather. These plants maintain petroleum inventories so that they are ready to dispatch electricity when it’s needed. Petroleum plays an important role in the Northeast (defined here as New York and New England) when electricity demand is high, particularly in the winter. According to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), power plants in the Northeast held petroleum inventories of approximately 6.7 million barrels as of the end of September 2020, close to the average of 7 million barrels during the previous five Septembers.