Arkansans to Ask for Additional Federal Energy Aid

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, AR - An economic stimulus plan before the U.S. Congress could include additional money for a program helping the poor pay to heat their homes.

Governor Beebe and other officials today offered support to a proposal adding $800 million to the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.  Arkansas received about $13 million this fiscal year for the $2.6 billion program, but officials said that would cover only 35 percent of those needing the help.

Advocates for more funding for the program will head to Washington, D.C., on January 30 to lobby Congress about gaining additional money for the program.

Beebe stressed the importance of the program on a day like Thursday, which saw a low of 19 degrees in central Arkansas, and summer days that require extra electricity to run air conditioners and fans.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)