Yesterday, Senate conservatives voted down bipartisan legislation that would have “provided an additional $2.5 billion in funding for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP),” a federal program “that helps low- income families pay their cooling and heating bills.”
Arguing that “the chamber should focus on crafting a comprehensive plan to address high energy costs before taking up specific pieces of the debate,” conservatives insisted that drilling for more “gas and oil” would do more to help struggling families pay for heating oil.
Watch a compilation video of conservative senators pushing the false myth that drilling will help low-income families pay their heating bills:
But drilling for oil will do nothing to “alleviate and bring down those natural gas prices for us.” As the Energy Information Administration (EIA) has explained, “access to the Pacific, Atlantic, and eastern Gulf regions would not have a significant impact on domestic crude oil and natural gas production or prices before 2030.” But because United States demand for oil far outstrips production — we consume 25 percent of the world’s supply but have two percent of the proven reserves — further exploitation of domestic resources will not have a long-term impact either. After 2030, the EIA found, “any impact on average wellhead prices is expected to be insignificant.”
This winter, the “average cost of heating a home…will total about $1,114 – 14.6 percent more than last year,” forcing “low-income families [to] spend on average about 15 percent of their income on home energy bills.” Unfortunately, rather than voting for substantive relief, conservatives continue to propagate false myths for political purposes.
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