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‘Support LIHEAP Now!’ say Home Energy Assistance Advocates.

Impact of Heat Wave Made Much Worse by Lack of Home Energy

Assistance Funding

WASHINGTON, Aug. 4 /PRNewswire/ — As record temperatures

continued to batter the country, advocates for home energy assistance to

the poor called on the White House and Congress today to demonstrate a

commitment to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP LIHEAP Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program ) program.

Specifically, the National Fuel Funds Network, American Gas Association,

and the National Energy Assistance Directors’ Association each sent

letters to the President calling on the White House to immediately

release the remaining contingency funds set aside for emergency

purposes, and for Congress to fully fund the program in the 2007 fiscal

year.

Congressional Appropriators have proposed $2.1 billion in LIHEAP

funding for the FY 2007 fiscal year, failing to match the $3.1 billion

invested in LIHEAP in FY 2006 in response to increased energy prices.

The failure to match FY 2006 spending levels may eliminate LIHEAP

support to as many as 900,000 households currently receiving assistance.

Despite repeated examples of the danger that low-income and elderly

citizens face in times of excessive heat or cold, the LIHEAP program

continues to be funded at less than half of its authorized $5.1 billion.

“This record-breaking heat wave is a sad reminder of

policymakers’ failure to recognize the importance of fully funding

the LIHEAP program,” said Campaign for Home Energy Assistance

director Michael Bracy. “LIHEAP is a critical lifeline for our

poorest citizens, yet Congress and the Administration have repeatedly

failed to fully support the program. Tragically, this heat wave once

again demonstrates that if policymakers fail to acknowledge the need, it

is our most desperately poor and elderly neighbors who will face the

horrific reality of dealing with unbearable heat without the basic

protections of air conditioning air conditioning,

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