Monday, July 28, 2008 Abbie Hodgson, 785.215.0530
Roberts Votes Against Energy Assistance Bill
Puts special interests ahead of struggling Kansas families- again
Topeka, KS – Jim Slattery, candidate for U.S. Senate, criticized Pat Roberts for his vote against the Warm in Winter and Cool in Summer Act, which provides an emergency expansion of low-income energy assistance.
"Roberts' opposition to this bill is very disappointing," Slattery said. "Temperatures reached 96 degrees on Saturday in Kansas when Roberts voted against the bill."
The bill would have doubled the funding level for LIHEAP – the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program – from $2.57 billion to $5.1 billion.
"Many Kansas families are struggling to stay cool this summer and will struggle to stay warm this winter," Slattery said. "Just like the price of gas, the price of heating and air conditioning is rising and the funding provided by this bill is absolutely critical."
The Department of Energy has projected an increase in electricity prices of 5.2% in 2008 and 9.8% in 2009, and an increase in natural gas prices of 16% in 2008 and 34% in 2009.
But the issue is about more than just high prices. The Center for Disease Control has noted that more Americans have died from heat stroke and hypothermia than from all floods, tornadoes, and hurricanes combined since 1998.
Slattery strongly rebuked Roberts' record on energy issues.
"This is just the latest incident in Pat Roberts' startling record of siding with the special interests that fund his campaign over the welfare of Kansans. He has voted against increased funding for LIHEAP, all the while voting for huge tax breaks to big oil."
The funding increase that would be provided by passing the Warm in Winter and Cool in Summer Act is projected to provide over $25 million to low-income Kansas families struggling to pay their home energy bills.
"It's time to get Kansas common sense into the US Senate," Slattery said. "Our leaders should be putting struggling Kansas families ahead of special interests in Washington, something Pat Roberts has failed to do."