The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) is scheduled to release its winter fuel outlook in Washington, DC, on October 13, 2010.While the EIA’s survey provides an overview for the country, it does not provide specific details of what’s happening in Vermont. For instance, the last EIA update in July suggested that oil would be over $3 a gallon heading into winter, which is not the case. The most recent survey from the Vermont Department of Public Service finds that fuel oil is averaging $2.70 a gallon, which on a BTU basis is price comparable to natural gas and wood pellets. Electric heat, on the other hand, costs nearly twice as much as oil heat, according to the Vermont Fuel Dealers Association.Oil heat consumers can save even more on winter heating costs, the VFDA states, by tuning up their heating systems now, as well as taking other simple steps to conserve energy. Today’s oil furnaces are highly efficient, but an annual tune-up keeps existing equipment functioning at top performance. Properly maintained boilers and furnaces can operate at higher temperatures while burning less fuel— which can reduce heating bills by up to 10 percent.“Tuning up heating systems before winter is a great way for consumers to lower their heating costs, conserve energy, and help the environment,” said VFDA Executive Director Matt Cota.Most Vermont homes – over 139,000 (56 percent) – are still heated with oil. Data from the Energy Information Administration show that heating oil inventories are 17 percent above their five -year average. The majority of Vermont’s heating oil comes from the United States and Canada.Source: VFDA vermontfuel.com.
There were 1,361 new regular benefit claims for Unemployment Insurance last week, the second time in three weeks claims have spiked over 1,000 and now exceed the post Tropical Irene spike. This is an increase of 246 from the week before. Last summer’s historically low claims came to an abrupt end with the storm. The numbers then dropped signifcantly in the following weeks, but in the last several weeks there has been mostly an increase in the number of new claims. The latest numbers are more than double the initial claims observed in July and August.Altogether 7,113 new and continuing claims were filed, a decrease of 58 from a week ago, and 2,613 fewer than a year ago. The Department also processed 1,384 First Tier claims for benefits under Emergency Unemployment Compensation, 2008 (EUC08), 173 fewer than a week ago. In addition, there were 601 Second Tier claims for benefits processed under the EUC08 program, which is 78 fewer more than the week before. The Unemployment Weekly Report can be found at: http://www.vtlmi.info/(link is external). Previously released Unemployment Weekly Reports and other UI reports can be found at: http://www.vtlmi.info/lmipub.htm#uc(link is external) Vermont’s unemployment rate fell two-tenths in October to 5.6 percent. SEE STORY HERE.
The actor who starred in a classic baseball movie based in Iowa came to the state Sunday to make a political pitch for presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg.Kevin Costner indirectly mentioned The Field of Dreams. “This has been a really sweet place for me, this state.” Costner, instead, started by telling a crowd of more than 12-hundred in Indianola that he’s a registered independent. “Neither party owns my vote. They don’t get it automatically,” Costner said, to applause. Costner said in ordinary times, he’d just cast his vote and go back to work, but Costner said he’s worried we’ve become a nation in perpetual crisis. “Moral courage speaks with a certain clarity,” Costner said. “…It’s our job to listen and not get fooled.” Costner never mentioned President Trump during his 12-minute speech. Costner didn’t say the last name of the candidate he’s endorsed, either, merely referring to him as “Pete.” “He won’t compete to be the loudest. I won’t see his arms flapping,”Costner said and murmurs rose from the crowd, “…and he doesn’t have to yell.” Costner closed by saying every four years Americans get a chance to hold the course or demand something better.“That power, that awesome responsibility originates here on the ground in Iowa. What you do with your vote is to put those first seeds in the ground and see what grows next year,” Costner said. “There’s a chance to come out of Iowa with a path lit and the way cleared toward a future that we are done waiting for…It wouldn’t be my place to tell you what to do with this chance. I just want to invite you to listen with me and see if you hear what I hear.”There are just six weeks left before Iowans head to the February 3rd Caucuses and Costner’s Sunday afternoon endorsement event comes as candidates compete for attention over the holidays. Olympic gold medalist Michele Kwan was here last weekend on behalf of Joe Biden and two weeks ago movie star Rosario Dawson was here to campaign with her boyfriend Cory Booker.