April 6, 2005- Energy and Commerce Committee Defeats Amendment Targeting LIHEAP Formula

WASHINGTON, DC – The House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee defeated an amendment to the Energy bill designed to change the formula for funding the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) in a 22-30 vote. Representative Edward J. Markey objected to the amendment offered by Representative Green (D-TX) which attempted to alter a formula for funding the LIHEAP by redirecting funds to benefit hot-weather states.

“The LIHEAP program is designed to help those individuals most in need of energy assistance, not due to historical weather conditions,” said Representative Edward J. Markey. “The Green amendment would effectively redistribute LIHEAP funds from cold weather states to warm weather states, neglecting the fact that low income homeowner costs are approximately five times as much for heating as for cooling.” The Energy bill provides LIHEAP with $3.4 billion in funding for low income family homes based on
energy expenditures and heating degree days, a measure of weather conditions.

“North, South, Democrat, Republican we need to increase the overall appropriation for this program, so that LIHEAP can reach the households of all of those who qualify, not just the small percentage of homes that currently receive LIHEAP funding,” said Rep. Edward J. Markey. “We cannot let regional preferences override the needs of America’s working families.”

April 6, 2005
 CONTACT: Tara McGuinness
Jeff Duncan