Tuesday, June 06, 2006

 

Energy crunch hit Ohio's poor hard

What's more important than gay marriage?

According to the Hannah News Service [sub. req'd]:
Ohio's Home Energy Assistance Programs (HEAP) helped 510,185 low-income households to pay their heating bills this winter, approximately a 23 percent increase over last winter.

. . .

The increase doesn't surprise David Rinebolt, executive director of Ohio Partners for Affordable Energy, who predicted in early April that 500,000 households would be assisted this heating season.

. . .

He said that over 60,000 of the households that came onto the program this year had not participated in HEAP in the last eight years. "What was surprising was that most of these families had incomes below 100 percent of the poverty line. These are households that traditionally scraped together enough money to pay their bills but just couldn't anymore because of high prices."
The story also contains a warning about the coming winter:
In May, Taft allocated an additional $45 million to supplement the HEAP program during the 2006-2007 winter heating season -- $30 million short of what was added for 2005-06, Rinebolt is quick to point out. "Plus, we don't have the $58.6 million additional allocated by the federal government. We will be nearly $90 million short of what was spent heading into the 2006-07 heating season."

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