Just a quick not to those who use oil to heat their homes. If you can lock in your rate now, it will probably be a good idea to do it.
The EIA today predicted that heating oil will rise at least 37 cents a gallon to a price in excess of $2.85 a gallon this winter. This price, it should be noted does not take into account the possible effects of a hurricane(s), more middle east unrest (could it happen?) or additional refinery problems that have been so prevalent this spring and early summer. It would seem that the forecast is a "as long as things stay the way they are now" scenario.
This does not mean the forecast is wrong or irrelevant. If anything, knowing the methodology they use to predict the prices and what they base them on make it very useful. We now know that any combination of the above events OR extremely cold winter will most likely drive heating oil prices over $3 a gallon.
So, rather than pay Exxon (XOM), Chevron (CVX) or BP(BP) additional funds this winter, it is recommended that prices get locked in. If only I could do the same thing with the natural gas I heat my home with.