Home Heating Oil Assistance Cuts Could Affect Millions

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(Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

(Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

BOSTON (CBS) – You’ve probably already ordered that first tank of oil for the winter and learned the hard way how much more expensive it will be to stay warm this season.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Mark Katic reports.

It’s being made more difficult for New England’s poorest residents as heating costs rise and their assistance is being cut.

Congress is considering a billion-dollar cut from the Low Income Energy Assistance program.

Mary Power, 92, doesn’t know anything about that. She only knows her state heating assistance is being cut by $400 and she can’t afford the kerosene needed to keep her West Roxbury trailer warm. How will she get through the winter?

“I don’t know. I have no idea. I guess that I just have to wrap up in blankets and stay under the covers,” Power told WBZ NewsRadio 1030.

Overall, nine million homes, mostly in the Northeast, rely on that assistance program.

Mark Wolfe of National Energy Assistance says Congress is targeting the wrong group to cut costs:

“When these prices spike, families just have no other resources,” Wolfe said.

Some advocates of the poor hope this is a key issue as Republicans come to chilly New Hampshire for the first-in-the-nation primary in January.

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