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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release December 18, 2000


President Clinton today directed the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to release $155.65 million in Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) emergency funds to all states to assist low-income households facing continuing, substantial increases in home heating fuel prices.

On September 23, the President directed the release of $400 million in LIHEAP emergency funds to help states prepare to assist low-income households in coping with high fuel prices during the winter. Since then, heating oil and natural gas prices have continued to rise above earlier projections. The Department of Energy now projects that heating oil prices this winter will be 29 percent higher than last winter, and natural gas prices will be 40 percent higher than last winter.

Low-income households are especially burdened by fuel price increases, forcing many families to forego other essential expenses in order to stay warm during the cold months. Today's LIHEAP release will help states continue to meet the needs of these families throughout the winter. In response to the President's urging, many states have adopted higher income eligibility limits in their LIHEAP programs and higher benefit levels in anticipation of greater need for assistance this winter.

Today's release allocates funds to all states, factoring in states' reliance on heating oil, natural gas and propane. The cold weather states of the Northeast and Midwest will receive most of the funds. However, all states will receive some assistance since low-income households throughout the country are affected by fuel price increases. In some areas, electricity prices have risen since electricity generation often is fueled by oil or natural gas.

LIHEAP helps eligible families pay the costs of heating and insulating their homes in the winter and cooling their homes in the summer. In addition to the $400 million release in September, HHS also released this summer a total of $44.35 million to respond to the heat emergency in the South, and to energy emergencies in Alaska and California. Today's release exhausts the LIHEAP emergency funds made available under the FY 2000 Emergency Supplemental Act. The budget agreement passed by Congress last week, and to be signed into law by the President, will bring available LIHEAP funding to a total of $1.7 billion for FY 2001.

The state allocations of today's release follow. Funds are released to state agencies, which then make them available to eligible low-income applicants in their state. These amounts also include funds that will be provided directly to tribes in these states.

                      STATE-BY-STATE BREAKDOWN OF
                  DECEMBER 18, 2000 LIHEAP ALLOCATIONS
                                        December 18
                      State             Allocation

Alabama $ 1,260,378

Alaska 816,155

Arizona 543,471

Arkansas 968,677

California 7,152,413

Colorado 2,561,962

Connecticut 3,408,837

Delaware 437,710

D.C. 501,789

Florida 1,432,305

Georgia 1,622,369

Hawaii 92,245

Idaho 746,839

Illinois 9,619,596

Indiana 4,160,540

Iowa 3,047,316

Kansas 1,417,592

Kentucky 1,846,297

Louisiana 1,279,232

Maine 2,078,814

Maryland 2,473,980

Massachusetts 6,774,352

Michigan 9,366,548

Minnesota 6,327,357

Mississippi 1,096,194

Missouri 3,572,188

Montana 1,063,045

Nebraska 1,516,775

Nevada 253,183

New Hampshire 1,248,591

New Jersey 6,577,800

New Mexico 829,260

New York 21,342,766

North Carolina 2,578,299

North Dakota 1,180,188

Ohio 8,237,908

Oklahoma 1,233,888

Oregon 1,365,107

Pennsylvania 11,102,333

Rhode Island 1,166,317

South Carolina 935,903

South Dakota 992,900

Tennessee 1,635,369

Texas 3,269,894

Utah 1,222,215

Vermont 904,330

Virginia 2,619,779

Washington 2,158,547

West Virginia 1,269,788

Wisconsin 5,771,270

Wyoming 463,992

Territories 105,397

TOTAL $155,650,000