Landrieu, Melancon Ask President to Assist Louisiana Families Struggling with Energy Costs Following Oil Disaster

June 8, 2010

Letter Asks President to Direct $20 Million to Gulf Coast

WASHINGTON D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and U.S. Representative Charlie Melancon (LA-03) announced they sent a letter to President Barack Obama requesting assistance for Gulf Coast families struggling with their energy costs because of the impact of the BP oil disaster. Sen. Landrieu and Rep. Melancon asked the President to direct $20 million from the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) emergency fund to help families affected by the oil spill.

“Thank you for visiting Louisiana to witness first-hand the devastation of the ongoing Deepwater Horizon oil spill,” Sen. Landrieu and Rep. Melancon wrote. “As this spill continues, the needs around the Gulf Coast will increase and every opportunity should be taken by the Federal government to help those citizens.”

Landrieu and Melancon continued, “As you are aware the LIHEAP emergency contingency fund was created to provide additional assistance to meet home energy assistance needs during a disaster. Currently, the emergency contingency fund has approximately $100 million in unallocated funds. These funds will expire at the end of the fiscal year if not spent. Instead of letting those funds expire, we respectfully ask that you authorize the release of $20 million for the allocations to communities along the Gulf Coast.”

The oil spill has put hundreds of Louisiana families out of work and left them struggling to pay for necessities such as rent, groceries, electricity and home cooling. With summer temperatures in Louisiana now reaching above 90 degrees most days, lack of home air conditioning could pose a serious health risk for many people, the elderly in particular.

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