Heating Oil/Gas Price Sanity sign now

Are you tired of barely being able to afford home heating oil or gasoline-- while the oil companies' profit statements continue to break records?

There is something you can do about it-- actually, five things:

1. Sign this petition.

2. Call Congress toll-free at (888) 355-3588.

3. Call our County Legislature at 486-2100.

4. Email our County Legislature at [email protected]

5. Pass it on.

Joel Tyner
County Legislator
324 Browns Pond Road
Staatsburg, NY 12580
(845) 876-2488
[email protected]


[Here below is the letter and resolution I sent to my colleagues in our County Legislature on the morning of October 31, 2005.]

Colleagues-- really think we as a County Legislature could and should be more pro-active on this issue, to protect our county's consumers and taxpayers...

All-- please let me know if you're interested in working with me on this issue...(no matter which party you are!)...


[would love to come to consensus on this sooner instead of later!]



WHEREAS, the price of home heating oil is already fifty-six cents a gallon higher than a year ago; according to the New York State Research and Development Association, the weekly average home heating oil price this fall in the lower Hudson region including Dutchess County is forty-six percent higher than last year; the price of gasoline is over a dollar higher than just two years ago, and

WHEREAS, local taxpayers across our state will have to spend at least $375 million more this year for gasoline, diesel, fuel oil, natural gas and electricity because of increased prices and millions more because of the impact of higher energy prices on the cost of goods and deliveries, according to a survey released recently by our state Comptroller, and

WHEREAS, the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights recently discovered internal oil company memos that show how the industry intentionally reduced domestic refining capacity to drive up profits; three internal memos from Mobil, Chevron, and Texaco show different ways the oil giants closed down refining capacity and drove independent refiners out of business, and

WHEREAS, the confidential memos demonstrate a nationwide effort by American Petroleum Institute, the lobbying and research arm of the oil industry, to encourage the major refiners to close their refineries in the mid-1990's in order to raise the price at the pump; large oil companies have for a decade artificially shorted the gasoline market to drive up prices, and

WHEREAS, the five largest oil refining companies operating in this country, ExxonMobil, Valero, ConocoPhillips, Shell and BP, have recorded $228 billion in profits over the last five years; oil and gasoline prices were rising long before Hurricane Katrina wreaked havoc; gasoline prices jumped 14\% from July 25 to Aug. 22; profits for U.S. oil refiners have been at record highs; in 1999, U.S.oil refiners made 22.8 cents for every gallon of gasoline refined from crude oil; by 2004, they were making 40.8 cents for every gallon of gasoline refined, a 79\% jump, and

WHEREAS, over 2,600 mergers have been approved in the U.S. petroleum industry since the 1990's; in just the last few years, mergers between giant oil companies-- such as Exxon and Mobil, Chevron and Texaco, Conoco and Phillips-- have resulted in just a few companies controlling a significant amount of America's gasoline, squelching competition, and

WHEREAS, in 1993, the five largest U.S. oil refining companies controlled 34.5\% of domestic oil refinery capacity; the top ten companies controlled 55.6\%; by 2004, the top five-- ConocoPhillips, Valero, ExxonMobil, Shell and BP-- controlled 56.3\% and the top ten refiners controlled 83\%; as a result of all of these recent mergers, the largest 5 oil refiners today control more capacity than the largest 10 did a decade ago, and

WHEREAS, contracts representing hundreds of millions of barrels of oil are traded every day on the London and New York trading exchanges; an increasing share of this trading, however, has been moving off regulated exchanges such as the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) and into unregulated Over-the-Counter (OTC) exchanges; the Bank of International Settlements estimates that in 2004, the global OTC market has grown to over $248 trillion; growth in global OTC derivatives markets has averaged 31.6\% since 1990, and

WHEREAS, traders in OTC exchanges are not required to disclose such information allowing companies like Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and hedge funds to escape federal oversight and more easily engage in manipulation strategies; a recent congressional investigation concluded that "crude oil prices are affected by trading not only on regulated exchanges like the NYMEX, but also on unregulated OTC markets that have become major trading centers for energy contracts and derivatives. The lack of information on prices and large positions in OTC markets makes it difficult in many instances, if not impossible in practice, to determine whether traders have manipulated crude oil prices," and

WHEREAS, Exxon Mobil announced a third-quarter profit in October of nearly $10 billion, the largest corporate quarterly profit ever, and more than $4 billion dollars more than the company brought in during the third quarter of last year, and

WHEREAS, all of the other major oil companies have recently experienced record-breaking profits as well; these staggering profits come at a time when Dutchess County's consumers are faced with skyrocketing prices for gas and home heating oil, and

WHEREAS, oil companies like Exxon Mobil should not be allowed to rake in obscene profits while Dutchess County residents are struggling to pay skyrocketing gas and home heating oil prices; senior citizens will go cold this winter, and workers will lose a significant part of their pay checks if we do not address and end this price gouging, and

WHEREAS, the nearly $10 billion profit reported by Exxon Mobil in October represents only the profits earned in the last three months of the year; this means that Exxon Mobil's third quarter profits would be more than Coca-Cola Co., Intel Corporation and Time Warner Inc. earn in an entire year, and

WHEREAS, similarly BP reported a $6.53 billion third-quarter profit, up from $4.87 billion in the same period last year; ConocoPhillips Co. third-quarter profits increased by 89\% from last year's level, going from $2 billion last year to $3.8 billion this year; Royal Dutch Shell's profits increased by 68\%; and Marathon Oil's profits more than tripled, and therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the Dutchess County Legislature shall hold an evening public hearing within thirty days on gouging in home heating oil and gasoline prices, invite Rep. Sue Kelly, Rep. John Sweeney, Rep. Maurice Hinchey, Sen. Hillary Clinton, and Sen. Chuck Schumer, and be it further

RESOLVED that the Dutchess County Legislature hereby requests that Congress and the Federal Trade Commission without further delay seriously and publicly investigate with public hearings price gouging by the oil companies regarding home heating oil and gasoline prices and enact a tax on windfall profits by oil companies as many in Congress have suggested, and be it further

RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be sent to County Executive William Steinhaus, President George W. Bush, Sen. Hillary Clinton, Sen. Chuck Schumer,
Rep. Maurice Hinchey, Rep. Sue Kelly, and Rep. John Sweeney.


Supporting documentation:

"Stay Warm-- the Safe Way" by Rebecca Imperati [Poughkeepsie Journal 9/25/05]

"Call for Government Reform Committee to Hold Hearings on Oil Company Price Gouging" [10/27/05]

"Internal Memos Show Oil Companies Intentionally Limited Refining Capacity To Drive Up Gasoline Prices"
[from Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (9/7/05)]

"Testimony of Tyson Slocum, Research Director Public Citizens Energy Program Before U.S.Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation Causes and Solutions for Americas High Gasoline Prices" [9/21/05]

"New Survey of Dutchess County Gas Prices" [10/7/05]


Date: Thu, 27 Oct 2005 14:31:36 -0400: AcXbBozBaMzf9P/FS2CkJ9zJFrmznwAHhSPg

From: "countylegislature" [email protected]>

From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]]

Sent: Thursday, October 27, 2005 10:55 AM

Subject: Increased Energy Prices to Cost Local Governments at Least $375 Million More This Year, Hevesi Survey Finds

CONTACT: [email protected]>Jennifer Freeman
(518) 474-4015 FOR RELEASE: Immediately
October 27, 2005


Local governments will have to spend at least $375 million more this year for gasoline, diesel, fuel oil, natural gas and electricity because of increased prices and millions more because of the impact of higher energy prices on the cost of goods and deliveries, according to a survey released today by New York State Comptroller Alan G. Hevesi. Hevesi reported the findings in a letter to Assemblyman Paul D. Tonko (D-Schenectady/Montgomery Counties), Chair of the Committee on Energy, who has held a series of statewide hearings on the impact of rising energy prices.

"The results of that survey demonstrate that these increases will have a dramatic and negative impact on local governments. Given the fragile balance in local government budgets, it is critical that the State develop effective short-term and long-term solutions to alleviate this crisis," Hevesi wrote.

"School districts and local governments are struggling to cope with skyrocketing prices at the pumps and this winter they face double-digit price increases for heating fuels and electricity," said Tonko. "I look forward to working with Comptroller Hevesi to protect cash-strapped local property taxpayers and the fiscal health of our schools and municipalities."

The Comptroller's Office received responses from 124 local governments of the 648 to which it sent the survey. New York City was not surveyed and is not included in the projections. The results include the following:

The costs for gasoline, diesel, fuel oil, natural gas and electricity for local governments are approximately $1 per gallon higher today than the average cost during the most recently completed fiscal year, roughly a 70 percent increase. Natural gas and electricity costs are estimated to be 35 and 11 percent higher, respectively, than last year.

More than 75 percent of respondents said that the rise in energy costs would produce a shortfall in their current budgets. If the percentage increase in total energy costs is consistent by type of government throughout the State, overall local government expenditures will increase $375 million. When broken down for each type of local government, excluding New York City, potential increases are as follows:

School Districts $ 200 million

Counties $ 70 million

Cities $ 35 million

Towns $ 50 million

Villages $ 20 million

There will be additional, indirect impacts of rising energy prices. For example, supplies and materials vendors are applying surcharges, shipping charges are going up, and paving and road construction contractors are demanding energy surcharge increases. Many vendors have indicated that charges for basic services will be higher for the remainder of 2005 and may increase again in 2006. These indirect costs are not included in the cost estimates above.

Click here for a copy of the letter.

Christopher Grimm
Office of the State Comptroller
Intergovernmental Affairs
And Community Relations

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100 / 1000

Latest Signatures

  • 01 November 2015100. Philip Pt
    we cannot have consumed this much oil in such a short time frame to raise prices this much; Address; Zip Code 73 Warner Hill Rd., Southport, CT. 06890-3041
  • 29 August 201599. Elizabeth A
    Why is so much being charged?! Ease up, already! Address; Zip Code 11415
  • 28 August 201598. Tama Siskayab
    We are the 99 percent! Address; Zip Code Poughkeepsie, 12601
  • 06 June 201597. Theresa R
    Oil prices are to high Address; Zip Code 10 Cauda Lane 12590
  • 04 June 201596. Lynne D
    I am sick and tired and broke. $5.14 a gallon was the quote from my oil company Address; Zip Code 12533
  • 03 June 201595. Mary Em
    I agreed with this! Address; Zip Code 5 Knolls Road, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
  • 18 March 201594. Craig S
    lower oil prices Address; Zip Code 747 vassar rd poughkeepsie ny 12603
  • 18 December 201493. Lucy As
    outrageous how badly we are treated Address; Zip Code 19401
  • 24 November 201492. Nora E
    I am tired of the constant changing prices for gas. I am tired of the targeting of the smaller, local stations to receive gas at the higher prices. We need these local stores more than we need the stations on the highways. Address; Zip Code Wingdale, NY 1
  • 27 September 201491. Brian Buckley
    I hope gas comes down. I can't even afford to keep gas heating going. Gas should go down because how can families make it when gas heating goes up. Address; Zip Code Mayodan, NC
  • 30 August 201490. Cristina Crawford
    We need to stop the price gouging now! Address; Zip Code 07067
  • 22 August 201489. Radames M
    The oil companies are making it impossible for families to survive! Address; Zip Code 168 rochdale rd., Poughkeepsie, ny 12603
  • 13 July 201488. Jennifer H
    This is self-explanatory-Nobody wants to pay more for ANYTHING! Address; Zip Code 41 hook rd Rhinebeck NY 12572
  • 12 June 201487. Kathleen M
    we have to stop the ever-widening gap between the ultra rich and everybody else. Address; Zip Code 97 midline rd., Ballston lake, 12019
  • 02 June 201486. George D
    Prices need to be lowered Address; Zip Code 1604 ROUTE 9G 12538
  • 20 April 201485. George Q
    Any honest person would support this petition Address; Zip Code 124 Station Hill Rd, Barrytown, NY 12507
  • 18 April 201484. Nelson S
    thanks Address; Zip Code 1228 lakeview rd copake, ny
  • 20 March 201483. Catherine G
    Please help! Address; Zip Code 18 Indian Pass, Stormville, NY 12582
  • 26 December 201382. Mary D
    PRICES OF OIL ARE PATHETIC Address; Zip Code 1604 RT 9G, 12538
  • 02 December 201381. Jesse H
    Lower fuel prices Address; Zip Code 78640
  • 08 August 201380. David B
  • 14 June 201379. Anna H
    Gas prices are insane!! Address; Zip Code PO Box 555 Rhome, TX 76078
  • 18 May 201378. Lisa R
    help us Address; Zip Code hyde park ny 12538
  • 07 April 201377. Vernon Gl
    stop the madness(runnaway train) Address; Zip Code 106 maplewood dr. 72015
  • 03 April 201376. Laura M
    My husband and I must choose between warmth or food. Address; Zip Code 40 Leslie Street, 07114
  • 22 March 201375. Abdel Vang
    i am sick and tired of paying too much for heating oil Address; Zip Code 12601
  • 22 September 201274. James S
    stop destorying a country Address; Zip Code po box 202 kokomo,ind 46903

browse all the signatures


Jerri BentleyBy:
Transport and infrastructureIn:
Petition target:
U.S. Congress and Dutchess County Legislature


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