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Feb-12-2013 13:24printcomments

Venezuela Donates Free Heating Oil to 100,000 Needy US Households

For the eighth straight year, Venezuela's state oil company is donating free heating oil to hundreds of thousands of needy Americans.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez image from a Miraflores Palace / Handout. Courtesy: Digital Journal

(SAN FRANCISCO Digital Journal) - The CITGO-Venezuela Heating Oil Program has helped more than 1.7 million Americans in 25 states and the District of Columbia keep warm since it was launched back in 2005. The program is a partnership between the Venezuelan state oil company Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA), its subsidiary CITGO and Citizens Energy Corporation, a nonprofit organization founded by former US Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy II that provides discounted and free home heating services and supplies to needy households in the United States and abroad. It has been supported from the beginning by Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.

In 2005, a pair of devastating hurricanes, Katrina and Rita, led to dwindling oil supplies and skyrocketing fuel costs. Some of the poorest and most vulnerable Americans, including many elderly people on fixed incomes, found themselves having to choose between heating their homes or providing food, clothing or medicine for themselves and their families. Since that first winter, CITGO has provided 227 million gallons of free heating oil worth an estimated $465 million to an average of 153,000 US households each year. Some 252 Native American communities and 245 homeless shelters have also benefited from the program. This winter, more than 100,000 American families will receive Venezuelan aid. With the US government estimating that households heating primarily with oil will pay $407 (19 percent) more this year than last, the program remains an invaluable helping hand to many needy Americans.

"The CITGO-Venezuela Heating Oil Program has been one of the most important energy assistance efforts in the United States," CITGO CEO Alejandro Granado said at the Night of Peace Family Shelter in Baltimore, Maryland, where he and Citizens Energy Corporation Chairman Kennedy launched the 2013 program. "This year, as families across the Eastern Seaboard struggle to recover from the losses caused by Hurricane Sandy, this donation becomes even more significant."

Last year, President Barack Obama and Congress reduced Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funding by 25 percent, cutting off an estimated one million US households from desperately needed assistance just as winter's worst chill, accompanied by record heating oil prices, set in. Fortunately, the CITGO-Venezuela Heating Oil Program was able to assist an estimated 400,000 Americans last year.

"The federal fuel assistance program reaches only one-fifth of all the eligible households in the US," Kennedy said in Baltimore. "Millions of families just go cold at night in their own homes."

Please continue reading this article here.

Republished with permission from Digital Journal




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Daniel Johnson February 12, 2013 2:58 pm (Pacific time)

This story demonstrates the underlying savage nature of American society in thrall to profit-seeking capitalism. America, the richest and most powerful nation in the world has citizens who need charity from other nations. What's wrong with this picture?

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