The Honorable Robert Casey
United States Senate
393 Russell Senate Building
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Senator Casey,
On behalf of the Energy Association of Pennsylvania (EAP) and its member utilities1 , I am writing to encourage your support for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) in discussions regarding the federal budget. Our most vulnerable low-income families (many with seniors, disabled family members, very young children or who are currently without work) depend on this critical lifeline to help secure and/or maintain heat through the coldest winter months. Even at the requested $5.1 billion funding level, LIHEAP has only enough funding to assist 1 in 5 eligible Americans. Here in Pennsylvania the need is great, as evidenced by this year’s record numbers of heating assistance applications.
We understand concern over the national debt and the need for budget discipline; however, it should also be recognized that LIHEAP funding helps our most vulnerable citizens pay for a necessity of life – heating their homes. If LIHEAP funding is reduced, many struggling families will not be able to meet their basic home heating needs and will be forced to make painful choices between heating their homes or paying for food, medicine and clothing. Alternatively, funding for other assistance programs will be increased with the burden falling on taxpayers or utility ratepayers.
As you prepare to fund the government for the remainder of FY 2011 and determine the budget for FY 2012, please support the full $5.1 billion in LIHEAP funding.
Thank you for your time and consideration
Terrance J. Fitzpatrick
President & CEO
1 Allegheny Power; Citizens’ Electric Company; Columbia Gas of PA; Duquesne Light Company; Equitable Gas Company; Metropolitan Edison Company; National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation; PECO Energy Company; Peoples Natural Gas Company; Pennsylvania Electric Company; Pennsylvania Power Company; Philadelphia Gas Works; Pike County Light & Power Company; PPL Electric Utilities Corporation; UGI Central Penn Gas, Inc.; UGI Penn Natural Gas, Inc.; UGI Utilities, Inc. (Gas & Electric Divisions); Valley Energy; and, Wellsboro Electric Company.
Please direct any questions or requests for more information to Debra Kitner by email or phone at (717) 901-0607.