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Kerry-Snowe Introduce Bill to Help States Reduce Energy Costs for Consumers

2008-07-17 10:24:00

    WASHINGTON, July 17 /EMWNews/ -- Sens. John Kerry and

Olympia Snowe introduced the "Emergency Energy Response Act of 2008" today

to directly address soaring energy costs that are hurting consumers and

breaking state budgets. The bill would create a grant program to help

states develop and implement response plans to address the rising costs of

heating oils, natural gas, and diesel, as well as other energy costs.

    "Every single day, working people face increased economic hardship as

energy costs continue to rise. Today more than 100,000 Massachusetts

households are still struggling to pay their utility bills from last winter

and face possible utility shutoffs," said Sen. Kerry. "States should be

empowered to help these homeowners, consumers, and businesses."

    "As energy costs continue to escalate, we need to utilize every means

available to provide relief to those who are in danger of not being able to

afford to heat their homes or pay their energy bills," said Sen. Snowe.

"Working with the states, we can lay the groundwork now to have assistance

in place to help our families, seniors and small businesses overcome the

potentially devastating impacts caused by rising energy prices."

    Grants to pay the Federal share of the response plan would be allocated

by Secretary of Energy based on a formula that weighs state population and

per capita energy costs. The bill restricts the federal cost share of the

program to not exceed 50% of each state's plan. The bill authorizes $1

billion a year from 2009 to 2013.

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Jordan Taylor

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