I love where Senator Snowe (she's from Maine and talking about cold weather so OF COURSE her name is Snowe!) said this underscores how badly the nation needs a comprehensive energy policy. You mean driving Escalades until the sky turns black is not an energy policy? You're kidding? How about fracking to release natural gas and destroy the remaining supply of clean water? That doesn't count? Building more nuclear plants? What would she call a comprehensive energy policy if this isn't it? She must be talking about a policy to SAVE energy. Our policies to WASTE energy are the envy of the rest of the free world.
Ultimately this may be part of a "comprehensive" plan of another type. First we freeze the poor. Then we can them and serve them as food. This is more "out of the can" thinking rather than "out of the box" thinking, but either way we here at Daily Downers are doing a better job of coming up with plans and ideas than the mugs that pass for our leaders today.
Mary Power is 92 and worried about surviving another frigid Massachusetts winter because deep cuts in federal home heating assistance benefits mean she probably can't afford enough heating oil to stay warm.
She lives in a drafty trailer in Boston's West Roxbury neighborhood and gets by on $11,148 a year in pension and Social Security benefits. Her heating aid help this year will drop from $1,035 to $685. With rising heating oil prices, it probably will cost her more than $3,000 for enough oil to keep warm unless she turns her thermostat down to 60 degrees Fahrenheit (16 degrees Celsius), as she plans.
"I will just have to crawl into bed with the covers over me and stay there," said Power, a widow who worked as a cashier and waitress until she was 80. "I will do what I have to do."
Thousands of poor people across the U.S. Northeast are bracing for a difficult winter with substantially less home heating aid coming from the federal government.
"They're playing Russian roulette with people's lives," said John Drew, who heads Action for Boston Community Development, Inc., which provides aid to low-income residents in Massachusetts.
The issue could flare just as New Hampshire votes in the Republican presidential primary.
U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe, a Maine Republican, said she hopes the candidates will take up the region's heating aid crunch because it underscores how badly the country needs a comprehensive energy policy.
Several Northeast states already have reduced heating aid benefits to families as Congress considers cutting more than $1 billion from last year's $4.7 billion Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program that served nearly 9 million households.