Washington, DC – The American Gas Association (AGA) today expressed their disappointment that the Obama administration is proposing only $3 billion for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) in the FY2013 budget.
“Throughout the country, millions of American households depend on LIHEAP funding to stay warm,” said Dave McCurdy, president and CEO of AGA. “Now is not the time to be making cuts to this critical program. We must find a way to balance our budget and reduce our deficit without cutting programs for those who need them most. $3 billion for LIHEAP will leave some of our citizens out in the cold.”
LIHEAP is a block grant program under which the federal government gives states annual funds to operate home energy assistance programs for low‐income households that struggle to heat their homes in the winter and cool them during the hot summer months. The Obama administration’s budget for FY2012 recommended $2.6 billion for LIHEAP. After many years of underfunding LIHEAP, Congress funded the program at $5.1 billion in FY2009 and FY2010. Unfortunately, since then, funding for LIHEAP has been cut drastically – to $4.7 billion in FY2011 and less than $3.5 billion in FY2012. As a result of the economic downtown and the increase in poverty and unemployment, the number of low-income households eligible for LIHEAP in 2012 will continue to climb.
On Wednesday, February 15, citizens from across the country will gather in our nation’s capital to build awareness about LIHEAP and urge Congress to fully fund this critical program. Members of Congress and LIHEAP supporters will hold a press conference at the House Triangle at 12:30 PM.