Thursday, February 09, 2006

My letter to the editor of the Daily Hampshire Gazette

To the editor:
Incentives for individuals to conserve oil to heat their home are few and far between while large oil companies like Exxon Mobil Corp. posted record profits for any U.S. company on Monday - $10.71 billion for the fourth quarter and $36.13 billion for the year. For the past few years my family have been prepaying in the beginning of the heating season. As a result we received a lower rate on our the price of oil per gallon. During the course of the winter we kept our thermostat lower, heated with wood and used other heat conservation measures. Because of our ecological measures we did not use all the oil purchased on the prepay plan. Instead of being rewarded by the oil company for conserving this diminishing resource the opposite occurred. The oil we had in reserve that we have already paid for is being charged at the higher prevailing rate, causing us to pay considerably more for this year's heating bill. Not a great incentive for someone to try and reduce their burning of this fossil fuel. It is no surprise to me that Exxon and other oil companies are making huge profits as attempts to conserve by individuals are punished for their efforts by getting charged more money for the oil that they already purchased and chose not to squander.

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