Sunday, September 28, 2008

STATES PREPARE FOR HOME HEATING CRISIS

Stateline - With home heating costs rising, jobless rates up and temperatures dropping, states are bracing for a widespread public health emergency this winter. Even if they get a boost in federal aid to help low-income citizens pay their home energy bills, state officials say a record number of poor people will be at risk of suffering hunger and hypothermia and many will need temporary shelter. The situation is expected to be most severe in cold northeastern states where more people rely on home heating oil, which has risen in price much faster than other energy sources. Governors in those states warned President Bush in an August letter that without more federal money, "an unprecedented crisis is waiting to unfold." Since then, the economy has worsened and energy costs have remained high.

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