Heavy Weather: How Climate Destruction Harms Middle - Center for ...

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Heavy Weather: How Climate Destruction Harms Middle - Center for ...

Protection from extreme temperatures is an issue in the winter as well. The EnergyInformation Administration recently projected that households will need to spend“nearly 20 percent more on heating oil and 15 percent more on natural gas” thiscoming winter due to higher prices and colder temperatures. 157Higher fuel costs will especially hurt the low-income families who receive helppaying their heating and cooling bills from the Low Income Home EnergyAssistance Program, commonly called LIHEAP. Congress cut this program’sfunding by $1.6 billion—or 30 percent—between 2011 and 2012, resulting inmore than 1 million households losing benefits entirely. 158 Funding will remain atthis inadequate level until at least March 2013 due to the continuing resolution(Public Law 112-175) that funds the federal government and its programs. 159The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, commonly referred to asfood stamps, is another vital program to help low-income families survive extremeweather events. As the Food Research and Action Center notes, “The DisasterSNAP/Food Stamp Program provides replacement benefits for regular food stamprecipients who lose food in a disaster and extends benefits to many householdswhich would not ordinarily be eligible but suddenly need food assistance.” 160Unfortunately, the House-passed budget for fiscal year 2013 would slash SNAPfunding by $134 billion over the next decade. 161 This would endanger funding forthis vital program that helps middle- and lower-income families purchase foodafter a natural disaster.27 Center for American Progress | Heavy Weather: How Climate Destruction Harms Middle- and Lower-Income Americans

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