CITIZENS ENERGY CORPORATION a non profit energy company PRESS

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					CITIZENS
ENERGY
CORPORATION
a non-profit energy company


                PRESS RELEASE**PRESS RELEASE** PRESS RELEASE**

  Public and Private Sector Leaders Join to Support Children’s Health In Wake of Rising
                                       Fuel Prices

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                            CONTACT:           Ashley Durmer (617) 338-6300
OCTOBER 22, 2007                                 Stephanie Ettinger de Cuba (617) 638-5850

Boston, MA --- Members of the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation and Citizens Energy
Chairman Joseph P. Kennedy II joined area doctors led by the Children’s Sentinel Assessment
Program (C-SNAP) out of Boston Medical Center to announce the findings of a new report today
linking rising fuel prices to the health and well being of poor children. The details were
announced during a hearing at the Dorchester House in Fields Corner neighborhood of
Dorchester, Massachusetts.


According to the new report, Dr. Deborah A. Frank, a principal investigator of the report,
explained in her opening remarks to a panel of current and former Members of Congress “we
know there is a medicine that is partially effective in protecting children during the current
epidemic of the heat or eat dilemma. That medicine is public energy assistance, the Low Income
Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Research my colleagues and I recently published
shows that children in income-eligible families who do not get LIHEAP compared to similar
children in income-eligible families who do were 23% more likely to be growing poorly, and
32% more likely to have to be admitted to the hospital the day we saw them in an emergency
room. But, like a scarce vaccine, LIHEAP reaches only a fraction of the children at risk.”



        According to Frank, this epidemic affects children of all ages, but babies and toddlers are
at the greatest risk. Babies and toddlers who live in energy insecure households are most likely
to:
        suffer poor health
        require hospitalization
        manifest developmental problems, and:




               88 Black Falcon Avenue • Center Lobby Suite 342 • Boston, Massachusetts 02210          1
                                     617.338.6300 FAX 617.542.4467
CITIZENS
ENERGY
CORPORATION
a non-profit energy company
        lack adequate food, which contributes its own chain of negative health and
        developmental effects.


        When families do not have access to sufficient energy, they generally have to resort to
unsafe heating methods and do not have the proper means to refrigerate or prepare food for their
children. This hurts children in the long run, increasing the risk of injuries and leading to both
health and developmental problems. Two families that have experienced such preventable
problems testified to their experiences at the hearing.
        Addressing the crowd, Kennedy, whose company, Citizens Energy, has provided heating
assistance to low-income families for the past 30 years and collaborated with C-SNAP on this
report, called for more community involvement in the face of inadequate program funding.
“With the price of oil nearing $90 a barrel and President Bush proposing a 44% cut in federal
fuel aid, we need to work together as a community to help change the lives of poor children.”
        The federal government gives assistance to families in need of heating assistance through
the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). However, the program lacks the
necessary funding to help families in need. In 2006 only 16.1% of eligible households received
funding.
        The hearing wrapped up with Congressman Delahunt, Congressman Capuano and former
Congressman Meehan signing a ‘healthy heating’ appeal from leading area hospitals to President
Bush urging attention to the health issues revealed in the report and full funding for LIHEAP.
        The report’s complete findings can be found at www.c-snap.org.




               88 Black Falcon Avenue • Center Lobby Suite 342 • Boston, Massachusetts 02210         2
                                     617.338.6300 FAX 617.542.4467