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Energy and Conservation Update, Fall 2006

By Rachelle Bowden in News on Sep 29, 2006 8:24PM


Phewww, gas prices are finally starting to go down after another summer of paying way to much to fill the tank. Chicago peaked at an average price of $3.29 per gallon of gasoline in 2006 and is expected to make it all the way down to below $2.30 by mid-winter. The average price of gas in the city is currently $2.59. Does anyone else find that number a bit low? It's got to have something to do with the neighborhoods that we at Chicagoist are driving through, but an average of $2.59? That means there is lots of gas being sold for less than that price.

Heating bills are going to be less this winter than last! Everyone remembers the shocking gas bills of last winter. The experts remind us: "One Caveat … a major hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico … could send prices soaring again." Chicagoist can see the executives now: "Any kind of weather disturbances will of course send profits, umm, we mean prices, soaring." The article goes on to explain that we paid 21-31% more in the winter of 2005-2006 than in 2004-2005. Chicagoist considers the question: In the best case (15% reduction in prices this year), where does the 6% increase in prices from two years ago come from? There may exist a good answer to this question, but it's always wise to ask.

And to make up for some good-hearted Wal-Mart bashing some days ago, a review of the green strategies being employed and discussed at the world's largest buyer of organic cotton (that would be Wal-Mart btw). Their VP of strategic planning sounds quite human and genuinely concerned about the environment. Did you read that? They have introduced fair trade coffee at Sam's Clubs. It warms our hearts and souls and reminds us that the manipulation of media is still a viable strategy to improve the image of your soul-sucking evil empire. Chicagoist hasn't seen any recent news on the green roof that's supposed to be adorning our Wal-Mart. Anyone know if that's still in the works?

Da Mare and our city-wide green programs can't be forgotten when bringing up conservation. From green roofs to geothermal heat pumps, all sorts of energy saving, environmentally friendly initiatives are in action at the Department of Environment. Chicagoist's offices are currently identifying ways to reduce their energy impact, hopefully you can too!

Thanks to missjasmine for the image. Thanks to Sean for the post!