Funds Could Mean an Additional $50million for Low-Income Mass. Families This Winter

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) coordinated a letter sent today to President Obama, along with 112 other Members of the House of Representatives, calling for the immediate release of Low-Income Home Heating Assistance Program (LIHEAP) contingency funds as soon as possible. The recently passed Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2010 included $5.1 billion to fund LIHEAP – the highest funding level in the history of the program -- of which, $590 million was designated as contingency funds. The release of these additional funds could mean an additional $50 million in aid to Massachusetts families.
As temperatures continue to plummet and energy prices once again rise, we must ensure that hard working New England families are not left out in the cold,” said Markey, the dean of the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation and Chairman of twin climate and energy panels in the House. “LIHEAP is a vital safety net for many low income families. As we wait for the economy to heat back up, we need to make sure that millions of families are not left without the warmth needed for a safe winter.

For years, the Bush Administration nickeled-and-dimed this vital program. The Democratic Congress and President Obama have reversed this misguided policy and fully funded LIHEAP in order to help ensure that no one is forced to choose between heating and eating this winter.”

Nationwide, home heating oil prices are averaging $2.88, up nearly 10 cents over the last week and up 51 cents from a year ago. Average household expenditures on heating oil this winter are expected to increase to $1,911 from $1,864 last winter, according to the Department of Energy.

A full copy of the letter can be found here