Lawmakers and oil dealers said Thursday the price of home heating oil is expected to rise, because a major source of the fuel will close Friday in Schuylkill County.
Russ Postupack of McAdoo has been in the home heating oil delivery business for 24 years. Over that time he has seen changes and challenges. Now his source for fuel oil, the Sunoco terminal near Tamaqua is closing which means he will have to travel farther to pick up his loads.
"If you travel your travel time, your load time and the time to get back to even begin the work, you're talking a two to three-hour trip plus a lot of fuel burn to get accomplished what we used to get done in 20 minutes," said Postupack.
He predicts the longer trips will lead to higher prices charged by some dealers.
"It's going to increase the cost for sure and keep a heavy demand on drivers to keep this pace going," Postupack added.
The closing of the terminal near Tamaqua has not only upset some dealers in Carbon, Schuylkill and Luzerne counties, it has caught the attention of lawmakers too.
"It's part of their overall strategy and it and maybe it makes sense for Sunoco but it doesn't make sense to me," said State Senator Dave Argall who represents the 29th District.
Several state lawmakers wrote to Sunoco asking them not to close the terminal, but Sunoco, citing in part not selling enough fuel from the Tamaqua facility, said the facility will shut down.
To offset the closure Russ Postupack, is building a mini storage facility of his own.
"It will enable us to buy tractor-trailer loads," Postupack said.
The fuel dealers added the best advice to consumers is don't procrastinate when you feel the need for more home heating oil.