Will New England Face a 'Frozen Katrina'?

With heating oil expected to be 36% more expensive, natural gas twice that amount, and LIHEAP funding lower than it was in the 1980s, there are grave warnings that the northeastern U.S. could be facing a "frozen Katrina" this winter.

America faces "a looming energy disaster with lives hanging in the balance. Currently, eight million homes rely on heating oil during the winter months, and last winter's prices forced too many citizens to choose between heat, food, and medicine.

According to the New York Times, heating oil prices are now 36 percent higher than they were last winter and bills will be up to $1500 higher than they were last year. As for the 54 million households heating with natural gas, prices are expected to be 67 percent higher this winter. Current funding for the Low Income Heating Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is below 1980's levels.

With both lower-income and middle-class people now unable to afford this basic necessity--a requirement for security in one's own home--newspapers in the Northeast are sounding a clarion call to head-off the impending disaster.

As the Boston Globe wrote in an editorial this month, 'The country...has more than three months to prepare for this frozen Katrina.'"

Full Story: Winter Storm Warning

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