Winter hasn’t officially started yet, but winter-like conditions are already causing extreme situations to develop across the country.
Parts of the Northeast have been hammered by cold and snowy weather in recent days. Given the current shortage of diesel and critical home heating fuels, like home heating oil, which also happens to be at record-high prices, more Americans are being forced to sacrifice basic comforts.
According to CNN, home heating prices have soared to new highs again, jumping 18 percent over last year’s 17 percent increase. For the millions of Americans on tight budgets, thanks to out-of-control inflation in an economy overseen by President Joe Biden, some have decided to go without heat.
“Factors driving home heating prices up, the war in Ukraine, OPEC cuts, energy exports, lower energy inventories, & high demand for natural gas in the US electric power sector. Heating a home with natural gas up 25%, electric up 11%, heating oil, up 45%.https://t.co/P1rb5gJE0Z
— Since I’m Here 🇺🇸 (@since_m) November 20, 2022
The outlet interviewed Charmaine Johnson, 63, who struggles with her own home heating situation and works at a non-profit outfit called Philadelphia’s Heater Hotline, which handles requests from those who can’t afford their energy bills.
Johnson, who can’t afford the $1000 needed to fill her home heating oil tank, described an increasingly ugly situation brewing in which she — and presumably many others — have been forced to turn off the furnace for now.
“It’s miserable,” Johnson said, explaining that she’s using as little heat as possible to stretch out her dwindling supply of heating oil. “It’s like living in an igloo.”
Another user of home heating oil, Tim Wiseley, 67, said he doesn’t kick on the furnace until his teeth begin “chattering.”
“It’s 50 or 55 degrees in here. To me that’s not unbearable yet,” he told CNN. “You can’t go food shopping and get oil. It’s one or the other.”
A recent Reuters report noted that home heating oil household costs were up 65 percent in October compared to the same time last year. That’s also well before the stinging cold weather slams the Northeast and other vulnerable areas of the country for weeks and months on end.
The same Reuters report added that the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) weekly Heating Oil and Propane Update indicated that as of Nov. 7, home heating oil prices reached a record $5.90 per gallon, nearly double what it was under much of the previous administration.
Roughly 33 percent of households in the Northeast require heating oil to stay warm. With reserves of distillates running much lower than usual, the outlook for the coming winter season is dreadful for many.
In part, officials blame the current shortage and high prices of critical fuels on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, low inventories, refinery issues, more exports, and OPEC+ cuts.
However, many social media users have blamed President Joe Biden and Democrats for what’s unfolding. Critics claim that Democrats haven’t done enough to move forward with tapping domestic supplies of oil and natural gas to ease the pressure.
“Most in New England depend on heating oil to heat their homes in the winter. Thanks in part to Biden’s policies, the average price of heating oil is $4.60 a gallon. The average heating oil tank holds 275 gallons and has to be filled every six weeks or so when it’s coldest out,” one Twitter user wrote.
Most in New England depend on heating oil to heat their homes in the winter. Thanks in part to Biden’s policies, the average price of heating oil is $4.60 a gallon. The average heating oil tank holds 275 gallons and has to be filled every six weeks or so when it’s coldest out.
— Peter Cook (@_Peter_Cook) November 19, 2022
That comment was in response to Biden’s recent address of the burgeoning home heating crisis, suggesting that struggling Americans can take advantage of tax credits for solar panel installation.
Biden tells people concerned about heating their homes this winter that they can get a tax credit to install solar panels on their roofs. pic.twitter.com/MRVPmZTD0N
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) November 18, 2022
Reuters added that U.S. households that rely on home heating oil will shell out 45 percent more to fill their tanks than last year, making heating one’s home a luxury, at best, for many.
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