PRESIDENT CLINTON ANNOUNCES RELEASE OF LIHEAP EMERGENCY FUNDS & OTHER
STEPS TO EASE SHORTAGE OF HOME HEATING OIL September 23, 2000
President Clinton today will direct the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to release $400 million in Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) emergency funds. The President also announced a series of other steps that will reduce the likelihood of high heating oil prices and price spikes this winter. Today's announcement builds on yesterday's announcement that the Department of Energy (DOE) will initiate an exchange of crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) and on the President's July decision to establish a home heating oil reserve in the Northeast. The President will renew his call on Congress to enact key parts of his comprehensive energy strategy, including his energy tax and investment packages; to reauthorize the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, which authorizes operation of the SPR; and, to authorize the establishment and operation of a permanent heating oil reserve in the Northeast.
PRESIDENT CLINTON DIRECTS $400 MILLION RELEASE IN LIHEAP EMERGENCY FUNDS IN RESPONSE TO HIGH HEATING FUEL PRICES: President Clinton today will direct the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to release $400 million in Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) emergency funds to all States to assist low-income households facing significant increases for heating oil, natural gas, and propane prices this coming winter. This is the largest release of LIHEAP emergency funds ever. By acting early, this action will encourage States to take steps now to help low-income households cope with high fuel prices this coming winter. States can raise benefit levels, adopt the maximum income limit(strikethrough: s) under Federal guidelines or expand outreach to assist more families.
PRESIDENT CLINTON WILL ALSO DIRECT FEDERAL AGENCIES TO TAKE ADDITIONAL STEPS TO REDUCE THE RISK OF HEATING OIL SHORTAGES THIS WINTER: Distillate inventories, which include both home heating oil and diesel fuel, are at unusually low levels as we head into the Fall. In the New England and Mid-Atlantic, where heating oil is an important residential heating fuel, inventories are currently more than 60 percent and 50 percent below last year's inventory levels, suggesting an increased risk of high heating oil prices and shortages this winter. To reduce the likelihood and severity of heating oil shortages, the President today directed:
PRESIDENT CLINTON WILL CALL ON CONGRESS TO ENACT KEY PARTS OF HIS ENERGY POLICY: President Clinton will renew his call for Congress to authorize permanently a home heating oil reserve with an appropriate trigger. The release of heating oil from the regional reserve that the President established in July using existing administrative authority is governed by current law. The President believes, however, that a permanent home heating oil reserve in the Northeast needs a trigger for its use that is more appropriate to possible regional shortages than current law permits. Congress must also pass the President's energy tax package and budget initiatives, which would help families and businesses buy fuel-saving cars, energy efficient homes, buildings, and appliances, and would accelerate the research and development of cleaner, more efficient energy technology in order to ensure that America has a secure energy future for the 21st century.