Home-heating funds run dry

WBZ reports there's no money left in the till to help people who can't afford their home-heating bills in a winter with oil prices now above $4 a gallon.



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    Where's Joe Kennedy

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    i saw this, this morning on WBZ.. and I had to wonder, where's Joe Kennedy during all of this? He keeps talking about how nice Hugo Chavez and the people of Venezuela are helping his Citizens Energy out.

    Can Joe help these people?

    Hugo Chavez is stealing oil

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    Hugo Chavez is stealing oil wealth (state owned oil companies are supposed to get the best prices for the benefit of their homeland) from poor people in Venezuela to give it away to comparatively rich people here in America for political points. Joe Kennedy should be ashamed to be going along with this.

    well we all know he's a crook

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    and I have to laugh at the commercials on TV I see for Citizens Energy because he's touting Hugo so much.

    But Joe has one good point he makes. He asked ALL Oil companies to help his program, and not one would come up, except for Citgo.

    I'm not sticking up for Chavez but who's the crook now?


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    As opposed to the decades of oil companies and the business folks running the country (including during the 70s oil crisis) when all that oil money went to the poor people of Venezuela. And they had access to education and health care....like they do now... (hint: that's sarcasm -- Chávez, while an egotistical clown, is the first VZ President to give a rat's ass about the poor. This needs to be said because the majority of Americans have no clue about what that country was like from the 70s through the 90s.)

    And when we want to influence politics in countries like Venezuela we typically fund coups, train death squads and push the implementation of police states in the name of protecting democracy (NED anyone?). When "Sha-vez" (sounds like a bad Chevy coupe from the 70s) tries to influence political attitudes in this country, he gives handouts to the poor. What a bastard.

    No less so...

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    ...than the United States of America.

    Actually Venezuela's voting system -- electronic with paper back-up and receipts printed out to voters -- is the gold standard for modern voting systems. As opposed to some countries we could mention (and already did in this post).

    If the US government was

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    If the US government was making money hand over fist from oil drilling, they probably could. Perks of state owned industry.


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    No, the US govt (otherwise known as us, in a democracy) is NOT making money hand over fist. Oil companies are. Thanks to corporate welfare on the part of our govt, they not only get tax breaks and incentives but the rights to drill for oil on public land..our land. Which was similar to how it worked in VZ before Chavez got in there. Money made by private entities off a publicly owned resource that they then kept for themselves. Kept a wealthy elite happy and a middling urban middle class happy and the rest of the country living in extreme poverty. Exactly how that is better than what Chavez has set up (which no doubt has a fair amount of govt corruption and ineptitude, as our govt has and as the previous VZ govts had) is hard to see unless you happen to be the beneficiary of the largess of the previous set-up. For poor folks, getting something (education, price controls on food, health care) seems a bit better than nothing.

    Given the tone of these posts anon, you sound like you might be one of those formerly happy middle class folks who fled the country after a few years of Uncle Hugo.

    On the other hand...

    I'm sure my elderly neighbor here in Belmont who I see pouring diesel fuel into his oil tank because he can't afford the 100 gallon minimum might disagree with your view of Americans as "comparatively rich".

    Anyone living in Belmont is

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    Anyone living in Belmont is filthy rich compared to the poor in Chavez's workers paradise.

    The point is money is being taken from one country's poor to give to another richer country's poor for political points.

    To put in another frame of reference resource wise:
    No one would be proud accepting and promoting grain 'donated' from a starving African country in order feed poor children here would they?

    In my experience

    poverty and misery have never been bound by geography. And when did the notion of politicians exploiting the poor start with Hugo Chavez?

    Last I looked, Hugo Chavez didn't kill almost 5000 of his own citizens and 100,000 Iraqis in the name of WMD that weren't there.

    Hugo Chavez also isn't making his citizens pay $300.00 a gallon for gasoline to be shipped to Afghanistan.

    Chavez may be just another asshole politician, but you can take pride in the fact that America leads the world in producing asshole politicians.


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    You can find poor people in any community. No community is safe from poor people, no matter how much the rich people try to push them out.

    Beverly Hills has poor people.

    Even KennedyVille Hyannis has poor people, so does Nantucket and MV..

    You do realize

    1. that Venezuela isn't anywhere near as poor as most African countries.

    2. Venezuelans pay less than $0.10 a gallon for gasoline and diesel.

    Yes. You read that right. http://www.bloomberg.com/slideshow/2013-02-13/high...

    This isn't the Quinoa situation - where farmers can't eat their own crops because they are too valuable on the international market.

    And yet they deal with

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    And yet they deal with frequent food shortages. Six of one, half dozen of the other.


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    aren't we instead paying for people to convert to natural gas?

    Converting to natural gas

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    It is hard for people in rural areas or towns lacking the infrastructure to convert to natural gas because the cost of installing the gas lines (which the customer has to pay for) is prohibitive. The government or the utility companies need to provide substantial subsidies to get this to happen.

    Why aren't we converting people to natural gas?

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    Because the prices of home heating oil and natural gas fluctuate wildly. A few years ago, before the fracking bonanza, home heating oil was actually cheaper than natural gas. While the price of natural gas may currently be cheaper than oil, this isn't likely to be permanent.

    Renters, too

    If you are renting you don't have control over what your heating system is.

    Converting to natural gas can be quite expensive if you aren't already at the point of replacing your whole furnace - the chimney has to be re-lined to prevent toxic reactions with what oil heat leaves behind, too.

    Why Am I Paying for Your Oil?

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    My thermostat is at 67, I have a sweater on and my tank is 3/8th's full and in need of a $750 fill up next week. I'm still cold. Enough of Hugo discussions and pining for Joe Kennedy doing heating oil commercials to help the poor when he has a better tan in them than George Hamilton. With help wanted signs up all over the city, Why am I paying for other people's heat again?


    Man, you must be rich ;-)
    55 at bedtime (50 in our bedroom)
    62-64 when we get home

    $13,000 a year on SS Disability

    Disability = cannot work.

    SS Disability is very hard to get signed up for, too. You have to be seriously unable to work, struggle through a couple years of being unable to work, and have a lot of paperwork saying exactly why you can't work.

    The more you know, the more you might have some compassion and realize that many of the Joe 4 Oil beneficiaries CANNOT WORK, which is why they NEED HELP.