If you heat with oil, then this winter has been a disaster and the disaster is continuing.
Luckily, the sun during March shines longer and hotter and the serious cold we have endured during this long winter of our discontent is coming to an end and we can begin to feel it.
Nut our oil burners are on everyday – and if they aren’t – then you are a bit cold inside your home refusing to pay for $3.70 per gallon home heating oil or you simply can’t afford it.
Being wealthy has nothing to do with this.
Even the wealthy are feeling the cost for home heating oil that has risen out of sight.
If you have a 200-gallon tank – the standard tank most of Charlestown home heating oil users will find in their basements – then each fill-up is costing about $740.
If you live in a larger space or a space that isn’t well insulated, it is common to be spending $1500 a month to heat it.
Last year, the same oil at the lower price would have cost about $500-$600 a fill-up.
With the Middle East in violent revolt against all the dictators, the price for oil is going sky high and with Libya facing a revolution, there is really no end in the run-up.
What to do?
Most of us do nothing. Most of us say nothing. We are modern Americans. We accept our fate as being ripped off and we understand it.
But at some point we will rise up, as the Libyans have risen, as the Egyptians have risen, as even the Saudis might one day do. We will rise up and put an end to the speculation that has caused the price to oil to rise when there is no world shortage of oil.
Or maybe we will one-day become a nation willing to sacrifice and kick our dependence on foreign oil and stop about $1 trillion a year from going to the Middle Eastern oil producers and to dirt bags like Hugo Chavez in Venezuela and get our heads on straight and bring the economy back to a place where our lifestyle is sustainable.
With oil at this price life is rapidly becoming unsustainable as we have known it.
For the elderly and the poor and for those retirees among us on fixed incomes, the price for home heating oil is making life treacherous.
And where is the government?
The Republicans are promising to cut out subsidies for heating oil.
Are they serious? Yes they are.
The situation is appalling.
That virtually no one in a position of responsibility is willing to stand up and to be counted on the matter shows how we’ve come to a point in our history where it appears that most Americans would rather go down the drain than to have to sacrifice to do something to reverse the trend.
The speculation among oil traders will go on and on.
The price for oil will go higher and higher.
Nothing will be done about it.
And that’s the way it is in March, 2011.