Commentary: A Little Energy Conservation Would Go A Long Way
After years of cheap and plentiful energy, prices are jumping, and reliability is falling. The price of oil has nearly tripled since January, 1999. Gasoline has gone up everywhere, climbing past $2 a gallon in parts of the Midwest. Natural-gas prices--normally low in the summer--are nearly double what they were a year ago and could go higher when winter comes. By all predictions, the same is true for heating oil. And the nation's electric-power grid is breaking down, causing scattered outages and the threat of higher prices for electricity even before the summer spike in demand for air conditioning.
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