The price of heating oil, a fuel most commonly used in New England to heat homes, has gone up by 65% since October 2021, according to the Energy Information Administration.
The average price for the oil was $5.46 per gallon in October 2022 compared to $3.30 in October 2021, due to refining constraints and low stockpiles of the fuel, according to a Nov. 17 notice posted by the EIA. Inventories of distillate fuel oil, which is refined to produce diesel and heating oil, are at their lowest levels since 2008, causing the Biden administration to propose forcing fuel vendors to maintain a minimum amount of fuel in their tanks in order to prevent severe shortages.
“We are very concerned about the rapid rise in the cost of home heating with heating oil this winter,” National Energy Assistance Directors Association Executive Director Mark Wolfe told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “EIA’s numbers could turn out to be conservative and the price could go even higher if shortages aren’t addressed quickly.”
Although East Coast refineries are running at close to full capacity, regional refining capacity has been squeezed in recent years, exacerbating the nation’s shortage of heating oil, according to the agency. On average, 33% of New England household use heating oil as their primary heating fuel during the winter months and the fuel is also primarily used in 4.1% of US homes.
White House National Economic Council Director Brian Deese said on Oct. 19 that the White House was keeping all options on the table to refill U.S. fuel stockpiles, including banning oil companies’ exports to Europe and other countries. In late October, Democratic Massachusetts Rep. Lori Trahan and 18 other New England House Democrats called onPresident Joe Biden to release the Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve to help reduce home heating costs in their states.
The White House and Energy Department did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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