14 Feb 2011 Obama Cuts Heating Aid to Poor While Raising Energy Prices
The Obama Administration’s FY2012 budget, released today, reduces funding to the Low Income Home Energy Program (LIPHEAP) to $2.57 billion — roughly in half compared with the 2009 budget. In its analysis, the Office of Management and Budget justifies the cut by reporting that “energy prices are now significantly lower, and the prior level is no longer sustainable.”
This year, the EPA began imposing carbon emissions restrictions expected to increase fossil fuel-related energy prices. As a candidate, Obama described such regulations as inherently expensive, saying: “Under my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.” In his State of the Union Address, Obama stressed his goal of 80 percent alternative energy production by 2035.
“Our goal as a society is to make people independent of government assistance, but the Obama Administration is cutting heating aid at the same time it is pursuing regulations that are sure to raise consumer prices on energy and virtually everything else,” said Deneen Borelli, full-time fellow with the Project 21 black leadership network. “Obama’s decision to cut heating aid illustrates the peril of government dependency since, at any point, the government can pull the plug leaving families out in the cold.”
“President Obama needs to realize that fossil fuels are vital to our economy and well-being, and now is not the time to ram renewable energy mandates down our throats. Let the free market, not the government, determine the amount of energy generated from renewable sources,” added Borelli. The cut in heating aid provoked outrage from Obama’s staunchest supporters. Senator Jean Shaheen (D-NH) said such a cut would be “a severe impact on many of New Hampshire’s most vulnerable citizens.”
Last week, Senator John Kerry (D-MA) wrote in a letter to Obama: “Cutting the program now would be devastating to the Northeast that depends on this support. If an increase is not an option we must do everything we can not to leave children and families out in the cold.”
Project 21’s Borelli continued: “People freezing now in the Northeast and elsewhere are not interested in Obama’s alternative energy goals for 2035. They want to know their power will be on and affordable in 2011, 2012 and 2013. America has the resources to become energy independent, but liberals who insist on alternative energy mandates want to stop efforts to develop new methods of exploration such as hydro-fracking for oil and natural gas, want moratoriums on existing drilling and further restrictions on coal. Obama is truly fulfilling his campaign goal of making our energy prices skyrocket – no matter how many suffer in the process.”
Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives since 1992, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research, which supports efforts to substantially trim the federal budget, while opposing government actions to artificially raise consumer energy prices.