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Excerpt from an article in the Times Herald-Record

Eli Van Etten, president of the Hudson Valley Oil Heat Council (and vice president of VEO Energy Systems), said price capping has become a popular vehicle for consumers looking to exercise some control over the volatility he partly blames on speculators in the futures market.

“Speculators have driven the price up with little accountability,” he said. “Thirty times the amount of physical oil that exists is traded every day on the (N.Y. Mercantile) Exchange.”

It also seems to Van Etten, who operates the Van Etten Oil Co. in Monticello, that federal monetary policies have contributed to higher prices. The lower the value of the dollar, the higher the cost of commodities like oil.

Van Etten, whose council represents 19 oil-heat companies and 38 associate-member companies involved in the energy business, said an advantage of oil heat was that the number of dealers kept prices locally competitive.

“Every single member of the Hudson Valley Oil Heat Council will work with the customer,” Van Etten said of monthly budget and price-capping plans. “We’re here for our customers. No matter what the circumstances, there’s almost always a solution.”