As price of oil soars, users shiver and cross their fingers

Source: Diane Cardwell and Clifford Krauss, The New York Times

When David Harris built his 2,000-square-foot hilltop home nine years ago, he wanted to put in natural gas, but the utility wouldn’t run a line to his house. Like many people here, he was stuck using heating oil. Mr. Harris added a wood stove to help cut costs and now uses only about one-third of the oil the house would otherwise need. But that did not stop a deliveryman for Crowley Fuel from handing him a $471.21 bill earlier this month for a refill that should get him to April. “You just cross your fingers and hope that it doesn’t get too much worse,” Mr. Harris said. Actually, it probably will — for him and the residents of the roughly eight million other American homes that use heating oil, mostly in a band from Maine to Pennsylvania.

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