Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Bad to worse: Oil price climb continues

Bangor Daily News

March 11, 2008

The state Office of Energy Independence and Security on Monday released its weekly update on energy prices as plans were under way for the first Governor’s Energy Efficiency Summit & Expo, which will be held next month in Augusta in an effort to curb rapidly escalating energy costs for businesses.

According to the office’s weekly survey, the statewide cash price for heating oil averaged $3.61 a gallon Monday. That’s 16 cents higher than a week ago and $1.22 higher than a year ago.

The lowest and highest heating oil prices in the state were found in southwestern Maine. The lowest price was $3.29 per gallon and the highest was $3.80 per gallon.

The statewide kerosene price rose 14 cents in the past week to $4 a gallon, which is $1.21 higher than last year at this time.

The market dynamics that have contributed to the increase in oil prices continue to worsen, according to the Office of Energy Independence and Security. The value of the U.S. dollar has continued to drop, investors continue to plow money into commodities such as oil as a hedge against inflation, and last week’s federal Energy Information Administration petroleum report indicated a 3.1 million barrel decrease in the nation’s oil inventories at a time of the year when inventories should increase.

The Governor’s Energy Efficiency Summit & Expo on April 3 at the Augusta Civic Center aims to engage individuals, businesses and industry in discussions about practical options for making small and large industrial businesses more energy-efficient and financing energy efficiency projects.

Attendees will learn from local and national experts about how best to reduce energy costs while improving business operations.

"It’s crucial for Maine to reduce its dependence on costly foreign oil," Gov. John Baldacci said in a statement Friday. "Maine has enormous potential to become energy-independent and to become a national leader in the development of clean, renewable sources of energy. In addition, we must also strive to be a leader in conservation, which is the quickest path toward reduced energy consumption."

The keynote speaker at the April 3 summit will be Thomas R. Casten, who has spent 30 years developing highly efficient decentralized energy recycling projects. He recently co-authored a chapter in the book "Energy Myth and American Society, Thirteen Myths," which challenges the assumption that the U.S. electric system functions at an optimal level.

The exhibit area will showcase current and emerging technologies in energy efficiency and smart energy solutions.

Registration for the all-day event is $25 and includes lunch and conference materials. Pre-registration is required. To register, go to www.maine.gov/governor and click on The Governor’s Energy Efficiency Summit. For more information, e-mail Susan@GreatGatherings.com or call 622-5330.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

They got Tom Casten for the keynote slot? Pretty cool -- he's the Paul Revere of energy recycling. Very nice.