President Clinton’s Radio Address to the Nation: Keeping the Heat and Lights On During Unusually Cold Weather

President Clinton’s Radio Address to the Nation: Keeping the Heat and Lights On During Unusually Cold Weather

December 30, 2000

Today, President Clinton, in his radio address to the nation, will announce a series of steps to reduce the likelihood and severity of energy shortages to help Americans in what will likely be the coldest winter in several years. Unparalleled economic growth and cold weather have led to significant increases in the demand for energy. For instance, demand for electricity in California is up 13 percent from last year, largely in response to a growing economy. Yet power generation capacity has not kept up to that pace, and electricity supplies have tightened while prices have risen in the western United States. When combined with cold weather following three warmer than average winters in a row, the increased demand for energy to heat and power our homes and businesses has led to energy bills significantly larger than in recent winters. The Clinton Administration has been taking steps since last winter to meet this challenge, and is taking further steps reduce the risk of supply shortages and to ease the burden of energy prices on families and small businesses.

PRESIDENT CLINTON WILL RELEASE $300 MILLION IN LIHEAP EMERGENCY FUNDS IN RESPONSE TO HIGH HEATING FUEL PRICES: President Clinton will direct the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to release $300 million in Low-income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) emergency funds to all States to assist low-income households facing substantial increases in home heating fuel prices. With this release of $300 million in LIHEAP emergency funds, the President will have directed HHS to release a total of $856 million in LIHEAP emergency funds since September to help States assist low-income households in coping with high fuel prices during this winter. In addition to this release, HHS released $156 million on December 18th and $400 million on September 23rd. The Department of Energy projects that heating oil prices this winter will be 29 percent higher than last winter, and natural gas prices will be 40 percent higher than last winter.

PRESIDENT CLINTON WILL ALSO ANNOUNCE 4 STEPS TO HELP AMERICANS DURING THE WINTER: The measures that President Clinton has already taken were critical steps towards preparing for cold weather and energy shortages with their accompanying high prices this winter. Following on their success, and in order to stay ahead of potential challenges, President Clinton is taking four additional steps to prepare for possible energy shortages during the cold months ahead.

THESE ACTIONS BUILD ON THE SUCCESSFUL STRATEGIC PETROLEUM RESERVE EXCHANGE THAT INCREASED CRUDE OIL INVENTORIES: In September, President Clinton directed Secretary of Energy Richardson to initiate a 30 million barrel time exchange of crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) in order to prevent a supply crisis, that could have had a particularly harsh effect on home heating oil supplies in the Northeast. On September 20th, just prior to the announcement of the exchange, inventories were 21 million barrels below the same time last year. Since then, crude oil inventories had risen to last year’s levels. The improved inventory outlook is reflected in the lower price of crude oil, which has fallen from over $37 to under $27 per barrel. The heating oil inventory situation has also stabilized, with distillate production over the last four weeks 11 million barrels above the same period in 1999. As we enter winter following an unusually cold November and December, President Clinton’s SPR time-exchange has improved the crude oil inventories and the incentives for refiners to continue producing heating oil needed to heat homes and businesses this winter.

STATE BY STATE LIHEAP ALLOCATIONS: The state allocations of the LIHEAP release follow. These amounts include funds that will be provided directly to tribes in these states.

STATE and December 30 Allocation

Alabama $2,429,254

Alaska $1,573,057

Arizona $1,047,485

Arkansas $1,867,029

California $13,785,570

Colorado $4,937,929

Connecticut $6,570,199

Delaware $843,643

Dist. of Col. $967,148

Florida $2,760,626

Georgia $3,126,957

Hawaii $177,792

Idaho $1,439,457

Illinois $18,540,822

Indiana $8,019,030

Iowa $5,873,400

Kansas $2,732,268

Kentucky $3,558,555

Louisiana $2,465,595

Maine $4,006,710

Maryland $4,768,353

Massachusetts $13,056,895

Michigan $18,053,096

Minnesota $12,195,356

Mississippi $2,112,807

Missouri $6,885,039

Montana $2,048,914

Nebraska $2,923,433

Nevada $487,986

New Hampshire $2,406,536

New Jersey $12,678,060

New Mexico $1,598,317

New York $41,136,079

North Carolina $4,969,416

North Dakota $2,274,696

Ohio $15,877,753

Oklahoma $2,378,196

Oregon $2,631,108

Pennsylvania $21,398,650

Rhode Island $2,247,960

South Carolina $1,803,859

South Dakota $1,913,717

Tennessee $3,152,012

Texas $6,302,398

Utah $2,355,698

Vermont $1,743,008

Virginia $5,049,365

Washington $4,160,385

West Virginia $2,447,391

Wisconsin $11,123,552

Wyoming $894,297

Territories $203,142

TOTAL $300,000,000

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