Bob Herbert endorses conservation, suggesting,
Because of the high price of oil, people in many parts of the country are already frightened, in the heat of summer, about their winter heating bills. Families are worried about having to choose between mortgage payments and fuel bills, or fuel bills and prescription medicine.How about we start subsidizing the conversion of their homes to geothermal heating and cooling systems. Using grants, subsidized loans and conventional loans, it should be possible to create affordable paths to geothermal systems for most consumers, with any loans repaid in a manner that still results in a net savings (and much greater stability) in their heating bills.
The Senate considered but was unable to pass a measure that would have substantially increased financing for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. It was a very bad sign. If the government can’t get that done in the current atmosphere, it hardly seems likely that it could move to an even more important step: finding a way to get the homes of these cash-strapped families properly weatherized so that they use substantially less fuel over the course of each winter.