WASHINGTON – With an outbreak of dangerous Arctic temperatures across portions of the United States leading to dramatic increases in the price of wholesale natural gas and electricity, U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today sent a letter to Susan Rice, Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy, requesting an update on the ongoing situation and for the Administration to work with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and other relevant agencies to take any necessary actions to provide support for communities and public institutions that rely on natural gas for heat during this record-breaking cold weather. The Senators also requested that the Administration consider providing supplemental funding to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)—a critical lifeline for low-income households, seniors, and veterans, to help with their energy bills.

Due to historic cold temperatures that have swept across the southern and central parts of the United States, increased energy demand paired with natural gas supply constraints are leading to natural gas prices that are 10 to 100 times higher than average.

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“We are concerned that many Illinois residents and municipalities will experience massive increases in the cost of residential natural gas prices, and will be faced with unaffordable energy bills in March. These increased costs are especially concerning for families right now because many are already struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the Senators wrote. “Americans should not have worry about not being able to afford food and medicine due to unprecedented heating bills.”

Full text of the letter is available here

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