- The Washington Times - Friday, January 24, 2003

WASHINGTON, Jan. 24 (UPI) — President George W. Bush on Friday ordered the emergency release of $200 million to help low-income families pay for home heating oil as the eastern half of the United States continued to be mired in a severe cold snap.

"President Bush today has directed Secretary of Health and Human to release an additional $200 million in emergency funds to help low-income individuals respond to the rising cost of home heating oil, particularly during this cold snap," White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer said.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released the funds into the Low Income Home Energy Assistance fund for states due to the hikes in home heating fuel prices this winter.

LIHEAP assists more than 4.6 million low-income households including those with small children, senior citizens and the disabled, with energy costs related to extreme heat and cold.

The Bush administration has released $1.5 billion into the LIHEAP fund, Fleischer said.

The administration predicts that home heating oil prices this winter will be more than 20 percent higher than the average of the last five years.

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