Sunday, November 25, 2007

Edwards Offers Heating Oil Plan

This caught my eye because I vaguely recalled someone else's offering solutions to the high costs of heating oil.

The DiversityInc story starts out with this.
Are the oil companies helping them? Not any of the ones based in the United States.

Will government give them a hand? Well, the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program is available, but only 16 percent of eligible families take advantage of this. And some states, especially in the Northeast, do have programs to help low-income families, but again, only a few take advantage of them.

Why? For undocumented immigrants, the fear of registering with a government agency is strong. For others, there is a historic distrust of the government. And in many cases, families just don't know about where to go for help.

Now that's truly a sad state of affairs. There are some programs in place already, but woefully underutilzed.

But back to Edwards.
Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards will outline a plan Sunday to provide immediate relief to families struggling with high heating oil bills and to ensure affordable prices in the future.

Noting that home heating oil prices in New Hampshire have surpassed $3 a gallon, the former North Carolina senator is calling on Congress to release some of the nation's home heating oil and crude oil reserves as a way to bring down prices by increasing supply. He also is urging Congress to fully fund the federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, according to a copy of his plan provided to The Associated Press.

Earlier this month, President Bush vetoed a Democratic health and education spending bill that included $2.4 billion for heating subsidies for the poor, $480 million more than Bush requested.

Via Japan Herald.

Perhaps Hugo Chávez should be running.
So which oil companies are coming to the rescue? Not American-owned or British-owned companies. The main company helping is Citgo, a subsidiary of Petróleos de Venezuela S.A., Venezuela's state-run oil company. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez recently visited the South Bronx to tout his discounted-oil offer.

Citgo partners with Citizens Energy Corporation (CEC), a nonprofit that provides low-cost heating oil to low-income families in 15 states and Washington, D.C. CEC works with oil-heat dealers and local fuel-assistance agencies. This year, it will provide eligible families a one-time delivery of 100 gallons of home-heating oil. CEC has reached out to U.S.-owned oil companies, but only Citgo responded, says Ashley Durmer, CEC spokesperson.

Via DiversityInc. Note: Same link as above.

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Blogger Ted Compton said...

Sounds to me like a play for primary votes in New England and upstate New York. In that region about 50% of homes heat with oil. Outside that region, about 5%. The national average is 7%. So there's very little political downside to high heating oil prices - not like there is for natural gas or, need I mention, gasoline.

Only a handful of years ago the proposition that heating oil might cost as much as gasoline would have been laughably outrageous. Now, it pretty much does. And may cost more once winter sets in for real. As soon as that happens the oil companies will say hey, who could have guessed it would get so cold and the price of oil will go up. Same old, same old.

Not that I'm complaining here. If Edwards somehow gets the Feds to pump a little more into the tank, that'll be good news for a whole lot of people. This year, anyway.

11/26/2007 01:17:00 AM  
Blogger spiiderweb™ said...

I can remember in the not too distant past when diesel fuel was half the price of gasoline.

Diesel and fuel oil take far less refining and are thus cheaper to produce, but big oil realized the public doesn't know such. Now everything costs the same.

Aha! Larger profits. Gotta love capitalism.

11/26/2007 06:22:00 AM  

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