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Thursday, Dec 22, 2005

I don’t even want to look.

As CBS 2’s Alita Guillen reports, we knew these big bills were coming, but to actually see the bill is painful no matter what your income.

The taped windows and extra blankets fight the cold but don’t seem to do much when it comes to 71-year-old Gwen Stewart’s heating bill.

“How in the name of Sam Hill could my bill go up this high?” said the Peoples Energy customer.

Over the past three months Stewart’s bill has gone from $200 to more than $500. […]

Keep in mind, most of the bills that are arriving right now are only for the beginning of December, which means those days when it was about five degrees outside won’t appear on the statement until next month.


- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - daley=corruption - Thursday, Dec 22, 05 @ 2:56 am:

    The Republican candidates and Mr. Eisendrath would be wise to remind everyone that Blagojevich opposed the suspension of the state tax on natural gas (Sen. Lauzen had sponsored a bill if I recall correctly).

    Good thing some kids will get free healthcare when are sick from being cold or their parents can’t afford anything else.

  2. - puzzler - Thursday, Dec 22, 05 @ 9:21 am:

    Well, I guess we can’t blame Enron. If you haven’t seen “The Smartest Guys in the Room,” the story of Enron’s role in the California energy crisis, go find it. And watch it.

  3. - Lionel Hutz - Thursday, Dec 22, 05 @ 11:08 am:

    Wasn’t Ed Hurley shuffled off to some made up position to assist seniors in dealing with high winter heating bills? What’s he doing? How much is he being paid?

  4. - Xolotl - Thursday, Dec 22, 05 @ 12:24 pm:

    Let us also keep in mind that Pres. Bush also under funded LIHEAP grants to states (The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program is designed to assist low-income households pay for winter energy services).
    It is estimated that home heating oil, propane and natural gas will have a combined increase of 24+% this winter. With that said, the Federal budget in 2004 had earmarked some $1.89 billion funding for LIHEAP and this year funded at $2.18 billion. According to the Center on Budget & Policy Priorities, the 2005 budget is short by $164 million, “… needed to cover the expected 24 percent increase in home heating costs. Adjusting for the price of fuel, the 2005 level of LIHEAP funding is lower than in any of the previous five years — 23 percent lower than the funding level for 2001.”
    Also, “the appropriations bill places almost $300 million of the LIHEAP funding for 2005 in a contingency fund. The President in his sole discretion can choose whether to release none, some, or all of these funds, and to which states. In some recent years, LIHEAP contingency funding has not been fully released. If none of the $300 million in contingency funding is made available, LIHEAP funding will be about $460 million below the level needed to cover the rising cost of home heating for the low-income households the program currently serves.”
    This discretionary power the President has in meting out these grants scares me as he is a very vindictive leader and I can see states like Illinois getting the shaft.

  5. - Reddbyrd - Thursday, Dec 22, 05 @ 1:16 pm:

    Let us all remember the gas companies are still being prosecuted for their last price fixing stunt. Gas production in the gulf resumed more quickly than expected and the big price hikes are no warranted.
    You might have noticed the law suit against BP and Mobil by Alaska over their sleezy tactics there.
    Everyone ought to dial down a little and let the gas companies “hold” their supplies a little

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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