Tuesday, April 01, 2008

it IS imperative we do something

about the cost of home heating oil (and OTHER utilities as well). i have mentioned SEVERAL times before, my father's (who will be 82 this month) last oil bill was over $700.00. who can afford that? even working families. that is a STRAIN.
Fuel dealers say customers can't pay bills, Larson proposes bill
By Susan Haigh
HARTFORD, Conn.—More than 60 days delinquent in paying her oil bill, a desperate Middletown woman recently called Peterson Oil Co., asking for help.
more stories like this
Jim Meehan, president of the Portland-based home heating oil company, said he has other customers who are more than 90 days late in paying their bills. Given the rising price of fuel, coupled with higher food costs and other expenses, many of his customers cannot afford the $1,000 it often costs to fill their oil tanks.
"We try to accommodate. It's tough," he said, adding that some customers owe $1,500 to $2,500 in back heating bills, creating a cash flow problem for his business. "They just have no way of paying it."
Meehan and a group of fuel dealers appeared at the state Capitol on Monday with U.S. Rep. John Larson, D-Conn., to support federal legislation that aims to remove the speculation in the energy futures market. An Energy Department official this month said market speculation on energy prices may have added as much as 10 percent to crude oil costs.
Larson's bill would require investors in the commodities market to be able to take delivery of the petroleum product in which they are investing. Such a move, he said, would eliminate speculators from the market.
"I think the government has to step in here and say to speculators, 'No, you're no longer going to be able to do this,'" Larson said. A U.S. Senate hearing on the issue is planned later this week........

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