Over the coming winter, residential customers are expected to pay 43 percent more for natural gas than they did the previous winter. This will be a particular blow for low-income families as they struggle to balance their energy needs with food, shelter and other basic concerns.
During consideration of S. Con. Res. 83, the Senate budget resolution, Senate leaders stripped language providing an additional $1 billion in energy assistance. In addition to easing the burden of fuel costs, these funds would have helped low-income families insulate and weatherize their homes, making them less vulnerable in the future to high energy prices.
Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME) introduced an amendment to restore the funding. On March 7, 2006, Senate Amendment 2913 was approved by a vote of 68-31 (Senate roll call vote 34) . YES is the pro-environment vote.