July 17, 2008 - New Englanders Ask Pelosi To Triple Funding For Home Heating Aid

Markey asks for LIHEAP funding
Rep. Markey and members of the New England Congressional Delegation urge President Bush to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to provide consumers with immediate relief from high energy prices.

Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA) and members of the New England Congressional Delegation are already thinking about the dead of winter. Twenty members sent a letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi today, urging her to increase funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to $9 billion in a second economic recovery package. To ease the burden of rising heating costs and expand eligibility for the program, the delegation believes it will be necessary to more than triple current funding. They are also requesting $1 billion for Weatherization Assistance and a release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to lower prices at the pump. 

"This summer, it's the gas prices that are red hot. But for some New England families this winter, the only heat they might feel is from home heating oil prices," said Rep. Edward J. Markey. "That's why President Bush must support a proposal to increase the amount of heating-oil-ready heavy crude in our national oil reserves, and release gasoline-ready light sweet crude oil now, and use any revenue to fund low-income heating fuel assistance programs."

Rep. Markey is finalizing a bill that will force the president to deploy oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve at an average rate of 500,000 barrels a day of light sweet crude oil for approximately six months. The bill would then swap in cheaper heavy crude oil to the reserves, replenishing the SPR, using the additional money raised from the swap to fund low-income energy assistance and renewable energy development.

The letter can be found here