Green Amendment Included in Energy Bill
November 18, 2003
Washington, DC - The final version of H.R. 6, the Energy Security Act of 2003, includes an amendment offered by Rep. Gene Green (D-Houston) to re-evaluate the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to make the program more effective at saving lives and preventing injury from extreme heat.
During the 1970s energy crisis, Congress created the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program to help people in desperate need of assistance to help heat and cool their homes. LIHEAP funding is allocated according to an out-of-date formula. Texas receives the second lowest amount per low income person in the country, about $10 per qualified person, while a northern state such as Minnesota receives $160 per low income person.
The summer heat in Houston brings at least as many complications as a cold winter in Minnesota. And the National Weather Service data shows more deaths from extreme heat than from extreme cold in America, said Green. This study will help LIHEAP become more effective at saving lives.
According to the National Weather Service, in 2000, there were 158 heat related deaths and 26 cold related deaths. In 2001, there were166 heat related fatalities and 4 cold related deaths.
Texas has 10% of Americas low income families and they should be able to benefit from the LIHEAP program, said Green.
The text of the Green amendment, TITLE XVI, Section 1607, of H.R. 6 reads as follows:
Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall transmit to Congress a report on how the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program could be used more effectively to prevent loss of life from extreme temperatures. In preparing such report, the Secretary shall consult with appropriate officials in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.