Last week AGA’s chairman Tom Skains spoke about the National Fuel Funds Network’s LIHEAP Action Day. There’s a lot of excitement at the AGA offices this morning because that day has arrived. Everyone dressed just a little more nicely than usual and you can sense a different smell in the air as we welcome these volunteers into our offices. The volunteers began flowing in early for a quick breakfast and briefing of the day’s events.
For those that don’t know, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provides critical dollars to low-income Americans struggling to heat and cool their homes, a particularly daunting task in the face of an economic downturn. Approximately 200 nonprofits and utility representatives are gathering today on Capitol Hill to advocate for LIHEAP’s inclusion in the stimulus bill, as well as $5.1 billion for FY 2010. The timing couldn’t be more crucial as the Senate removed $1 billion in funding in their version of the Economic Recovery bill.
One of the things that really struck me is as I was grazing after the morning talk, I ran into David Fox, executive director of the National Low Income Energy Consortium, and he was saying something to the effect of, I don’t think many people stop to think how close they are to being in the position to need this type of assistance, especially in these economic times. That’s probably more accurate than most of us want to acknowledge.
You can also read the release by AGA asking Congress to help families through LIHEAP funding.
We’ve posted some pictures below but you can check out the full set on Flickr at the AGA photostream.
A packed house getting ready for the day.
George Coling, executive director of the National Fuel Funds Network pointing the way to Congress. At least $5.1 billion in LIHEAP funding in 2010.
AGA’s own Charlie Fritts greeting volunteers…
as they line up to grab cabs.
AGA chairman Tom Skains and AGA President and CEO Dave Parker listen attentively to the morning briefing.