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AGA Statement on NTSB’s Pipeline Safety Recommendations
AGA Chairman Somerhalder Speaks to New York Society of Security Analysts
AGA Statement on the Announcement that “Gasland” has been Nominated for an Oscar
President Obama Recognizes Role of Natural Gas in Clean Energy Future
AGA Commends Senators’ Introduction of Pipeline Safety Bill
New Report Finds Natural Gas Critical to a Smart Energy Future
AGA Distressed with Proposed LIHEAP Cuts
Dave McCurdy Elected President and CEO of AGA
Safety Remains Top Priority for Natural Gas Industry
AGA Hails State Utility Commissioners for Support of LIHEAP
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AGA Applauds Introduction of the NAT GAS Act of 2011
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AGA Commends U.S. House Subcommittee on Energy and Power on Passage of Pipeline Safety Bill
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AGA Comments on the U.S. Energy Secretary’s Shale Gas Production Subcommittee Report
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AGA Comments on NTSB’s Pipeline Safety Recommendations
AGA Comments on U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Position on Jobs Creation
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Natural Gas Council’s Statement and Recommendations on President Obama’s Job Plan
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AGA Urges Congress to Keep LIHEAP a Priority
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AGA Applauds U.S. Senate for Bipartisan Passage of Pipeline Safety Bill
AGA’s Distinguished Service Award to Douglas H. Yaeger of The Laclede Group
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AGA Comments on Secretary of Energy Advisory Board, Natural Gas Subcommittee Final Report
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AGA Applauds Passage Of Bipartisan House Pipeline Safety Bill
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Thomas E. Skains, Piedmont Natural Gas, Receives AGA’s Distinguished Service Award
AGA

 9/20/2011 

AGA Contacts:
Jennifer O’Shea, 202-824-7023
Jake Rubin, 202-824-7027

 AGA Urges Congress to Keep LIHEAP a Priority   

 
Senate Subcommittee Cuts LIHEAP funding by $1.5 Billion
 

Washington, D.C. – The American Gas Association (AGA) urges Congress to keep the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) a priority, as the Senate Subcommittee on Labor-HHS-Education’s vote today cut funding by $1.5 billion, providing only $3.6 billion, which is substantially lower than the Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 level of $4.7 billion.

AGA has been joined by hundreds of organizations and companies throughout the country in a letter to Members of Congress calling on them to provide at least $5.1 billion for LIHEAP for FY2012.

“Given the lack of growth in the economy and job creation, America’s poorest and most vulnerable face the prospect of a being left out in the cold this winter if they are not equipped to pay their bills,” said Dave McCurdy, president and CEO of AGA. “AGA urges the Congress to build confidence for Americans in need as it decides on 2012 appropriations priorities by making LIHEAP a priority.”

LIHEAP provides seasonal help to roughly 8.9 million families – approximately 23 million people and the demand for increased assistance across the country continues to grow. In 2008, 33.8 million households met LIHEAP’s strict eligibility requirements. Yet, there was only enough money in the program to serve 5.7 million households. Since 2008, statistics show that wages for working Americans have decreased and unemployment figures have risen. The worst economic crisis since the Great Depression has put tens of millions of Americans in a desperately precarious financial state. According to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau, 15.1 percent of the nation – more than 46 million Americans – lives in poverty.

The President’s FY 2012 budget request proposes reducing funding for LIHEAP back to the 2008 level of $2.57 billion. Such a reduction would preclude 3.1 million families from receiving LIHEAP’s benefit, according to the National Energy Assistance Directors’ Association. This level of funding would prevent 8 million Americans from receiving assistance. Most of those who would be cut off are likely to be elderly, disabled, or at-risk pre-school children.

“In this time of high unemployment and economic uncertainty, LIHEAP is often the only thing that stands between a family’s choice to heat or eat. No member of Congress wants their constituents to be faced with that choice, so we ask them to act now and fund LIHEAP at $5.1 billion,” McCurdy said.

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The American Gas Association, founded in 1918, represents more than 200 local energy companies that deliver clean natural gas throughout the United States. There are more than 71 million residential, commercial and industrial natural gas customers in the U.S., of which 94 percent — over 68 million customers — receive their gas from AGA members. Today, natural gas meets almost one-fourth of the United States' energy needs.

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