Choice between Food and Home Heating Oil in Massachusetts: Help from Venezuela02 Feb

A few days ago, I received a delivery of heating oil totally about 150 gallons for my home outside Boston, Massachusetts. The price tag was in excess of $600 at nearly $4.00 per gallon. With, say, 6 -7 oil deliveries during the heating season, my bill would be about $3,600 to $4,200, a challenging cost for an average household income of $50,054.

Shortly after this oil delivery, I saw a TV commercial featuring “Joe for Oil” (aka Joe Kennedy), who pitched his home heating oil delivery service (Citizen’s Energy) for folks, who cannot afford to heat their homes with oil or convert to natural gas.This organization serves Massachusetts and several other cold weather states.

Joe makes the point that, “Citizen’s Energy Corporation exists to help make life’s basic needs more accessible and affordable. At the same time, Citizens Energy seeks to use market opportunities to help the poor and needy.” In his TV commercial, Joe indicated that he contacted major energy companies for home heating oil supplies, but the only one willing to help was CITGO, a Venezuelan state oil company.

One might think that “Big Oil” could afford to help poor households that heat with oil since this industry has an impressive financial record. For example, the headlines below show that “Big Oil” is awash in outstanding profits and tax breaks:

Oil Industry Record Profits

Exxon Mobil profit is just short of record

High Gas Prices Mean Record Profits for Big Oil

Big Oil’s Banner Year: Higher Prices, Record Profits, Less Oil

Oil Industry Generous Tax Breaks

Oil Companies’ $21 Billion U.S. Tax Break Survives Repeal Effort in Senate

Oil Industry Revives Campaign to Avoid Losing Tax Breaks

Tax Breaks – Big Oil Makes Massive Profits whilst the Federal Budget Struggles

Community “Support” from ExxonMobil

As a means giving back to the community, ExxonMobil makes the following claim on its website:

“As we invest in communities, we pursue long-term projects with strategic goals that are aligned with global and social priorities as well as our business strengths. We seek to have a more meaningful impact by focusing the majority of our spending on significant challenges in the regions where we operate.”

ExxonMobil Hypocrisy 

Unfortunately, the alleged community investment of ExxonMobil does not help those forced to make a choice between paying for home heating oil or buying food. That’s where Joe Kennedy and the Venezuelan government step in.

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About Dr. Everson

Prior to forming this SBIR consultant practice, Dr. Jeffrey Everson was director of business development for QinetiQ North America’s Technology Solutions Group (previously Foster-Miller, Inc.).

Dr. Everson has won and been the principal investigator for several SBIR programs, including a Phase I program for NASA, a Phase I project for the U.S. Air Force, and Phase I and II contracts from the U.S. Department of Transportation. For the Phase II program, he received a Tibbetts Award for exemplifying the best in SBIR achievement.

Previously Dr. Everson held senior scientist positions at Battelle Memorial Institute, The Analytic Sciences Corporation (TASC), Honeywell Electro Optics Systems Division, and Itek Optical Systems Division.

He holds a PhD in physics from Boston College and a MS/BS in physics from Northeastern University.


For more information about how JHEverson Consulting can help your company with its SBIR and STTR proposals, please contact Jeff Everson.

JHEverson Consulting is based in the Boston area but consults for clients throughout North America. It also is supported by affiliated consultants.