Skyrocketing crude prices are sending shivers through American homeowners, who enter winter facing the highest heating oil prices in history. The average oil-heated household will spend $1,785 to keep warm this winter, the Washington Post reports, up 22% from last year. Natural gas users will see a 10% percent increase. On the bright side, forecasters say this may be a mild winter.
Hearing the chattering teeth, Congress has approved $3.1 billion to help low-income families stay warm. Utility companies, meanwhile, have implored customers to help the poor. Oil prices usually drop as winter approaches, but last year that decline was underway by now. “Several years ago, people laughed at the prospect of $100 oil,” said one congressman. “No one is laughing now.”