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News stories tagged with "heating-oil"

Few winners, lots of losers in home heating oil market

The cost of home heating oil has confounded everyone this year. History dictates that prices follow demand: they drop in the summer and go up when it gets cold - and people need fuel to heat their homes. But this year, the cost per gallon peaked in mid-July. According to NYSERDA, the price of heating oil is at its lowest point of the year right now. This is good news for last-minute fuel buyers, but it's another financial mess for people who locked in a payment plan or bought all their oil over the summer. Keith Wells of Saranac Lake bought hundreds of gallons of fuel in July at $4.49 a gallon. Last week, the average price in the North Country fell to $2.83. Speaking with Brian Mann, Wells says he buys heating oil in bulk every summer. This is the first year, he says, when this strategy backfired - and cost him dearly.  Go to full article

Fluctuating fuel market hurts oil sellers

Since August, people who buy heating oil for their homes have seen the price go in only one direction - down. That's not the case for fuel sellers. They get oil on the wholesale market where prices can shoot up one minute and drop off sharply the next. Jonathan Brown talked with one seller who says this fluctuation is making a tough business much harder.  Go to full article

Potsdam leaders consider 'long emergency'

The cold seems a long way away, but across the North Country, communities are already planning ahead for the impact of high heating bills this winter. The cost of heating oil, natural gas, and kerosene could force many people to choose between food or medicine, and warmth. In Potsdam, a group of civic leaders wants to prepare for the winter, too. But they're also looking far beyond. If energy prices continue to rise, how will that change what we eat, where we live, work, and play? Will we be able to heat our schools and churches all winter? How will police and emergency responders have to change? Potsdam police chief John Kaplan, Clarkson University professor Bill Vitek, and others are convening a meeting on August 20th. They've invited a broad range of community leaders, representing government, emergency responders, the hospital, educators, churches, and fuel providers. Vitek specializes in sustainability and energy issues. He told David Sommerstein the idea is to get people to think about what author Jim Kuntsler calls "the long emergency".  Go to full article

State labor economist says North Country workers "on the edge"

The sagging national economy is proving especially painful for many families here in the North Country. According to statistics gathered by New York state, many counties in the region have seen the number of food stamp recipients grow by ten percent in the last year alone. High gas and fuel oil prices, combined with rising grocery and property tax bills, have pushed a lot of people to the edge. In just a moment we'll hear from a woman in the St. Lawrence Valley who's working extra hard to maintain her family's middle-class lifestyle. But first Brian Mann checked in with Al Beideck, an economist with New York's Department of Labor, based in Saranac Lake.  Go to full article

Sen. Little says economy pinching taxpayers & local governments

State Senator Betty Little says she supports the idea of a property tax cap and hopes to return this summer to debate the issue during a special session. But Little told Brian Mann that she's concerned about the possible impact of a cap on local school districts that are faced with spiraling costs.  Go to full article

McHugh Requests $900M More for Home Heating

Heating oil prices are at record highs, 54% higher than last winter. Natural Gas prices are up 135%. The money that's out there to help low income families heat their homes -won't go as far this year. Representative John McHugh has joined 57 other congressional leaders asking President Bush to authorize $900 million in supplemental funding for LiHEAP. That stands for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.  Go to full article

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