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Alaskan Villages Will Get Free Citgo Heating Fuel Again

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-26-09 11:11 AM
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Alaskan Villages Will Get Free Citgo Heating Fuel Again
Published on Thursday, March 26, 2009 by the Anchorage Daily News (Alaska)
Alaskan Villages Will Get Free Citgo Heating Fuel Again
Self-styled U.S. foe Chavez pays for program to benefit poor communities.
by Kyle Hopkins

Millions of dollars in free heating fuel will flow through Alaska villages early next month courtesy of a controversial giveaway program paid for by the Venezuelan government.

The sooner the better, say many villagers and rural nonprofits who appear more concerned about their towering energy bills than international politics.

"The whole town, we've been waiting all winter," said Margaret Schaeffer of Kiana, a Inupiat village of about 380 people where heating fuel costs $6.64 a gallon.

Some Alaska village families, along with people in other economically depressed areas of the United States, have come to count on the extra fuel from the Venezuelan-owned oil company, Citgo. Schaeffer said she uses it to heat her home for roughly six weeks each winter.

Yukon-Kuwskowkim villages welcome the aid, wrote AVCP President Myron Naneng.

"Even if it is from an 'Axis of Evil'" Naneng wrote. "... Gov. Palin and the powers that be are not even trying to take a forceful action to prevent the disaster from occurring again, nor do they care about the plight of our people ..." Palin spokeswoman Sharon Leighow countered that Palin pushed for a $1,200-per-Alaskan "resource rebate" last year to help Alaskans cover fuel costs, while her team has made multiple stops in Western Alaska this winter and plans to hold a career fair in the lower Yukon River village of Emmonak next month.

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