The Future of LIHEAP Funding: Will Families Get the Cold Shoulder this Winter?
Oil Prices Threaten to Leave Families in the Cold this Winter
Massachusetts Governor to Testify Before Select Committee Hearing on the Future of Home Heating Assistance Program and Consumer Protection Measures
(September 25, 2008)
The dramatic increase in the price of oil this summer caused consumer havoc at the pump. Now, as the winter months quickly approach, families are facing the cold reality that the cost to heat their homes will skyrocket as well. Home heating oil prices are expected to spike upwards of $4.60 per gallon this winter, a record. That could drive the total heating costs for average families above $4,000.
The Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming held a hearing looking into immediate funding concerns of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) as well as long term reform measures to help families cope with rising prices. The hearing featured Governor Deval Patrick from Massachusetts, where 4 out of 5 homes use heating oil or natural gas.
In 2005, 5.3 million households received LIHEAP heating or winter crisis assistance, yet this represented only 15 percent of federally eligible households. Representative Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and 94 of his Congressional colleagues sent a letter calling for full funding of LIHEAP at $5.1 billion to stave off what could be a disastrous winter for millions of American families. Last year the program only received $2 billion in regular funds. The crisis is not just isolated in cold-weather areas, however.
WHAT: Select Committee Hearing: “The Future of LIHEAP Funding: Will Families Get the Cold Shoulder this Winter?”
WHERE: 1324 Longworth House Office Building, U.S. Capitol Complex
WHEN: Thursday September 25, 2008 at 2:00 PM, EST
OPENING STATEMENT: Chairman Edward J. Markey
Honorable Deval Patrick, Governor, Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Mr. Howard Gruenspecht, Acting Administrator, Energy Information Administration
Mr. Mark Wolfe, Executive Director, National Energy Assistance Directors’ Association
Mr. John Drew, Executive Vice President, Action for Boston Community Development, Inc.
Full video archive of hearing.
Governor Patrick's statement.
Chairman Markey's question-and-answer period during the first panel
The second panel gives 30 second summations at the end of the hearing.
Honorable Deval Patrick
Representatives Sensenbrenner and Shadegg
Representatives Sandlin and Solis
The Committee and the panel
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