Crisis Alert: Severe Heating Oil Shortagegreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
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Monday January 24, 12:00 pm Eastern Time Company Press Release SOURCE: HEAT USA HEAT USA Issues Crisis Alert to Heating Oil Consumers Fuel-buying cooperative creates toll-free information hotline 1-800-660-4328 to mobilize consumers faced with severe shortages and record-breaking prices for home heating oil NEW YORK, Jan. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Home heating oil consumers, already reeling from an increase in wholesale prices to $1.40 on January 21, up 67 cents from January 14, are now facing the prospect of severe shortages. In response to this impending crisis, HEAT USA, the country's largest fuel-buying cooperative, is calling upon consumers to demand that the President take immediate action to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). The cooperative has converted its toll-free telephone number 1-800-660-4328 into a consumer information hotline.
Heating oil inventories in the New York metro area and throughout the Northeast are at dangerously low levels caused by the arrival of cold weather combined with short-sighted ``just-in-time'' inventory systems used by major oil refiners. Also, OPEC's policy of restraining oil production in order to drive up crude oil prices has depleted petroleum reserves around the world.
The sudden depletion of oil inventories in the Northeast was precipitated by the natural gas utilities forcing their commercial 'interruptible' customers to switch fuels from natural gas to heating oil because of shortages in natural gas. The utilities also switched many electricity generating plants from gas to oil. This is standard practice whenever the utilities are unable to meet the demand for natural gas, which typically occurs when temperatures drop below 20 degrees.
``Our phones are ringing off the hook with calls from oil dealers and our members,'' said Tim Irving, Executive Director, HEAT USA. ``We've haven't seen a situation like this in 15 years and we need to act fast to protect consumers. Prices have increased over 90% this week and there is little inventory available. HEAT USA is taking the lead to make sure consumers know how to protect themselves and to make sure this situation doesn't happen again. Unless the government takes immediate action and releases oil from the SPR, consumers are facing the real danger of being unable to heat their homes.''
HEAT USA is supporting the efforts of Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, to use the SPR to help keep oil prices in check. Senator Schumer is aware of the present crisis and has repeated his call for the President to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
The HEAT hotline offers several strategies to fight back against high oil prices. Consumers can sign a petition to President Clinton calling for the release of some of the Strategic Petroleum Reserves. HEAT also supplies callers with the names, telephone numbers and e-mail addresses of President Clinton, Energy Secretary Bill Richardson and their representatives in Washington, D.C. Additionally, the cooperative provides a free information sheet explaining the causes of these high prices, ways consumers can reduce their heating bills, as well as energy conservation tips. Since HEAT USA was founded in 1985, it has grown to represent 25,000 homeowners and small businesses. The cooperative is committed to providing its members with low prices on heating oil and free service contracts, as well as advocating for oil consumers. HEAT serves homeowners in New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Connecticut.
-- Bill P (email@example.com), January 24, 2000
Oh my...thank you for the post Bill. I can see the ad campaign already... "Got Oil?"
-- Dee (T1Colt556@aol.com), January 24, 2000.
More people who can't see beyond their collective noses. SPR is trash and slow to move. The problem is NOW. Trying to start the SPR would be like trying to drag a dead elephant carcas through town with a bicycle. This is not an answer.
However it IS educational. Notice that the cry for government intervention in the market is because of 'high prices', not an issue of availability. Shreaking nonsense like this tells us a bit about where we are at as a nation. "Big Daddy government, come sAAaaave us!!!"
-- ..- (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 24, 2000.
"HEAT USA is supporting the efforts of Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, to use the SPR to help keep oil prices in check. Senator Schumer is aware of the present crisis and has repeated his call for the President to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. "
Charles Shumer ........ Point man for the Clinton Administration and gun control advocate supreme!
-- Ray (email@example.com), January 24, 2000.
What the price of heating oil have to do with gun control?
-- . (.@dit.dat), January 24, 2000.
Gun control has nothing to do with the price of heating oil. It's just the same idiot behind both ideas...
-- Powder (Powder47keg@aol.com), January 24, 2000.
Same old tired song and dance from politicians. As we all know, the SPR is not the answer. It is very slow, poor quality and, in addition, I am wary of Schumer.
This is nothing but posturing.
-- Irving (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 24, 2000.
Is this a form of ad hominem (sp?) attack? Is this not an example of a fallacious form of arguement? I seem to remember that this form of illogic is occurs when someone is branded as a proponent of one cause in order to destroy their credibility in another. I myself could be wrong though. I voted for Jimmy Carter.
-- Uhhmmm... (JFCP81A@aol.com), January 24, 2000.
1) I don't CARE that hte SPR has a bad rep for quality, it's supposed to be STRATEGIC!!
2) Last time I checked, higher prices (OH DARN it's gonna cost me 5 dollars more to fill up my gas guzzzler) were NOT a strategic problem.
For an example of a STRATEGIC problem, how about the Saudi's can't ship at all. How about OPEC has decided that they aren't going to ship to the US?? How about Saddam Hussein succeeds in going ALL THE WAY TO THE COAST and shuts down shipments??
THOSE are STRATEGIC problems and the SPR would then be needed for CRITICAL SERVICES!!!! NOT keeping Timmy and Muffy in "affordable" Prowler and Navigator fuel (Muffy PARTICULARLY likes her Prowler).
If fuel is so damned expensive sell a couple shares of bubble.com to pay for it.
-- Chuck, a night driver (email@example.com), January 25, 2000.