We all know that Bush's trade and foreign policies have helped drive up the price of oil. (Remember when in 2000 he said Al Gore's policies would cost us $3 dollars at the pump and how horrible that would be?)
The effects of high oil prices cost you more than just at the pump and in inflation of the prices of other commodities whose costs are tied to transportation and the price of gas.
Heating oil and natural gas prices are jumping, driving up the cost of heating our homes this winter. And Bush just callously vetoed a bill that would have provided additional funding to assist working families in paying for rising home energy costs.
In addition to the fighting for better assistance to pay home energy costs (by calling on Congress to override Bush's veto), here are a few tips from the Sierra Club to help increase the energy efficiency of your home or apartment and control costs:
1. Make sure your doors and windows are sealed with weather stripping or caulk. (Like your mama used to say, "Are we heating the outside?")
2. Seal your heating ducts. (May require hiring a contractor, but some states will give you a tax break.)
3. Use thick drapes or curtains on your windows. Most heating loss goes through your windows. Open drapes in the day, and close them at night.
4. Lower your thermostat to 68 degrees. I know it's not warm. So put on a sweater, add a blanket, and get a little closer to your partner (or cat). Turning down the thermostat 5 degrees can lower your bill by 10 percent.
5. Circulating heated air with a ceiling fan on slow speed can help keep your house warmer and use less heating energy.
6. Fireplaces aren't very efficient ways to heat your home, but if you have one use it with artificial logs made of wood, recycled cardboard, or even coffee grounds (no paraffin! It's petroleum-based and emits greenhouse gases.)
7. Finally, use an insulating blanket for your water heater and wash laundry in cold water to reduce energy usage to heat water. (One household can eliminate more than a thousand pounds of greenhouse gas emissions in a year just by washing in cold.)
Stay warm and stay in the fight!