Energy companies will join charitable organizations on the Hill today to push members of Congress to restore funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
Some of the biggest energy and utility companies in the country will be on hand to meet with Congress, including Con-Ed, Pacific Gas and Electric, Entergy, CenterPoint Energy, National Fuel Funds Network and the American Gas Association. They will be joined by charitable organizations like the Salvation Army. In total, over 75 advocates will hold 120 meetings with members of Congress.
President Barack Obama's 2013 budget calls for nearly $500 million in LIHEAP cuts from the $3.47 billion budgeted this year, down from $5.1 billion in 2009. More than 20 energy companies from around the country will lobby their lawmakers to restore funding to the 2009 level. Obama had originally allotted that amount in his budget, but reduced the funding in February, citing lower energy costs.
But advocates say that argument doesn't address the full picture. Not all types of energy are experiencing falling prices, said George Coling, executive director of the National Fuel Funds Network, an organization that helps raise funds for utility assistance nationwide.