An intense winter storm froze pipes and disrupted services at refineries on the U.S. Atlantic coast on Thursday, sending fuel prices higher as heavy snowfall and high winds caused electricity outages for tens of thousands of Americans. Some 65,000 homes and businesses along the U.S. East Coast are without power, and that number is expected to swell on Thursday as the storm punishes the densely populated U.S. Northeast. The storm is the product of a rapid and rare sharp drop in barometric pressure known as bombogenesis, or bomb cyclone. Heavy snow pounded the East Coast along a front stretching from Maine as far south as North Carolina early on Thursday, taking out power lines, icing over roadways and closing hundreds of schools. Prices for heating oil HO-NYH HO-DIFF-NYH and natural gas in the U.S. Northeast hit their highest levels in years on the back of […]