JAN. 15, 2008 - MARKEY: ADMIN. THAWS ON HEATING OIL FUNDS

Two Weeks After Markey Request, Admin Agrees to Release Emergency Funds

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Two weeks after Representative Edward J. Markey called on President Bush to release emergency funds under the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to give consumers a break from the cold weather and hot prices, the administration announced that it will release $450 million from its Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program contingency fund. Of that, Massachusetts is slated to receive $27 million.

"Third time's the charm: after vetoing more funding for LIHEAP and denying my request to release heating oil reserves, the president has responded to my request to give the LIHEAP program a much-needed boost," said Rep, Markey, Chairman of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming.

"It's unfortunate that it took so long to bring the president around to this point, but for the sake of low-income families across New England, I applaud today's action. No family should be left out in the cold."

When crude oil prices hit $100 per barrel on Jan. 2nd, pushing up home heating oil prices as well, Rep. Markey called on the president to release contingency funds within LIHEAP to help consumers battle the weather and high prices.

The cost of home heating oil has nearly tripled since President Bush took office in 2001 - from $627 in 2001-2002 to $1,841 in 2007-2008.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 16, 2008

CONTACT: Jessica Schafer, 202.225.2836