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Some In Connecticut Could Face A Chilly Winter Without Help

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Cold Person (credit: AP)

Cold Person (credit: AP)

BLOOMFIELD, Conn. (WCBS 880/AP) –  Despite temperatures lingering in the 90s, concerns over the coming winter are surfacing.  

WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau With The Story

In Connecticut, the need for home heating oil assistance is rising due in part to a sour economy and high unemployment.

Various advocacy groups and state lawmakers are urging Connecticut’s congressional delegation to fight proposed cuts to the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

Pat Rice, who heads Operation Fuel, says while demand will rise, federal funding will be cut in half.

Connecticut stands to just get $41 million dollars, less than half of what was received last year.

“Can you imagine what it’s going to be like with roughly $50 million left to work with? I just can’t even imagine that,” says Rice.

Given the state of the economy, Rice is bracing for an exceptional demand this winter, predicting a four fold increase in the hundreds of thousands there who need help playing their fuel bills.

In 2010, the fuel program provided assistance to 113,385 Connecticut households in 2010. There are roughly 460,000 households eligible for the help, with incomes below 150 percent of the federal poverty level.

LINK: Operation Fuel (Official Website)

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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