Power To The People

As California battles just to keep the lights on, heartland homeowners pay dearly to stay warm

Lou Neve's family-run nursery in Petaluma, Calif., hasn't exactly been blooming lately. Thanks to soaring natural-gas prices, Neve was going to have to shell out more than $160,000 in December to keep his rose plants warm, at least five times as much as he spent a year ago; instead, he turned off his heaters and watched the temperature in his 360-sq.-ft. greenhouse drop as low as 40[degrees], which has left his roses in as sorry shape as his shrinking bottom line. Then late last week Neve, like so many Californians, got another nasty shock: to help prop up its two largest,...

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