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'Living On The Edge': Home Heating Oil Prices Soar In Massachusetts As Russia Invades Ukraine

BOSTON (CBS) - Experts say we can blame the current sticker shock over home heating oil bills on the Russia invasion in Ukraine. Organizers at ABCD Fuel Assistance in Boston say they're paying about $1000 to fill a 250-gallon tank.

"The only income I have is social security," said 91-year-old Joseph Brooks who lives in Hyde Park. He's among 15,000 people depending on help from ABCD. "Once you look around and you buy all of whatever it is, and you don't have any money left to buy, you got a problem," he said.

"This is horrible. For people we're trying to help, it's more than that," said ABCD president John Drew. "It's living on the edge at this point for many, many people. Looking over the precipice that could very well be homelessness."

For the week beginning February 28, the average price per gallon was $4.00 in Massachusetts with a high of $5.21. That's up from an average of $3.92 the week before.

Heating oil cost
(WBZ-TV)

"I haven't seen it like this. These jumps are daily, significant price jumps," said Arthur Chaves of Coan Oil in Natick. He said it's putting such a squeeze on companies like his, they have no choice but to pass the price hikes along to customers. "It's not helpful for us, it's not helpful for our customers. We don't appreciate these prices and it's a strain for our business," he said.

ABCD is asking for funding assistance from the federal and state government. They're asking any Massachusetts residents having trouble paying heating bills to apply for help at toapply.org/MASSLIHEAP

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