And now, as some forecasters are predicting a colder winter than in years past, concerns over price gouging and unusually low oil inventories have thoroughly seeped into every corner of the Northeast.
Rising oil prices have already begun to scrape the nerves of Queens residents. The current citywide price is hovering around $1.35 a gallon, and in Queens, the pricing gamut extends from 99 cents a gallon to $1.53, according to a recent survey by the city Department of Consumer Affairs.
John Lichtblau, head of the Petroleum Industry Research Foundation in Manhattan, said heating oil prices may rise as high as $1.60 a gallon between September and December, transcending the historical benchmark by about 30 cents or 40 cents a gallon.
But U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) warned this week that home-heating oil could reach $3 a gallon in New York unless the United States dips into its emergency reserves to blunt the impact on consumers.
Queens homeowners are not the only customers keeping a watchful eye on the mercurial oil market. The borough
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