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Truth4Justice Donating Member (806 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-18-08 02:57 AM
Original message
A Frozen Katrina
A Frozen Katrina

by Katrina vanden Heuvel

Wednesday, August 13, 2008 by The Nation

As John McCain and the Republicans trumpet their election year boldfaced liedrill now so we can lower prices at the pump todaythey continue to ignore a looming energy disaster with lives hanging in the balance.

Currently, eight million homes rely on heating oil during the winter months, and last winters 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 1980s levelsa time when fuel prices were just a tiny fraction of what they are now, The Timberjay newspapers point out. In fact, last years $2.5 billion in LIHEAP funding allowed just 16 percent of eligible recipients to receive aid. Congressional representatives of New England states have sought as much as $6.5 billion in additional LIHEAP funding to meet the anticipated needs of the upcoming winter. With both lower-income and middle-class people now unable to afford this basic necessitya requirement for security in ones own homenewspapers 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 had a few days to prepare for Hurricane Katrina, and failed. It has more than three months to prepare for this frozen Katrina, and there will be no excuse this time. A frozen Katrina will be measured in hypothermia cases and malnutrition or unfilled prescriptions, if the poor are forced to spend grocery or medicine money on fuel.

More at:

http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2008/08/13/10965/
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ColbertWatcher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-18-08 03:01 AM
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1. I suggested that the DU Activist Corp do something about this.
Perhaps donate cans of food to local shelters or create some kind of "PayPal" for people who need to pay their heating bills during the winter.

I haven't heard a word about whether we should do this or not.

The anniversary is coming in two weeks and soup kitchens and community food pantries are hurting.

We are a huge community, we can certainly do better for people in need than the GOP.


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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-18-08 03:04 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. awesome idea
:thumbsup:
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ColbertWatcher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-18-08 03:06 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Thank you, but how to implement it? n/t
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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-18-08 03:21 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. not sure
but I think they have allowed Paypal fundraisers here before
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ColbertWatcher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-18-08 03:25 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. I didn't know that...
...I've already posted the idea on the "Brainstorming" thread in the Activist forum, but haven't anything since. (http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph... )


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tanyev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-18-08 07:38 AM
Response to Reply #1
6. There may already be some charitable organizations that help people pay their heating bills.
If we could find a few, maybe all we need to do is give them a lot of DU publicity.
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ColbertWatcher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-19-08 02:25 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Good point. maybe we can first do some research?
Then, what? Have people pick the best one? Or give to whichever they choose?


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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-19-08 02:33 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. Yes, Venezuela. n/t
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Naturyl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-19-08 02:53 AM
Response to Original message
9. K&R. Thanks for highlighting this important issue.
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