Decision reversed on free oil to Alaskans

Hugo Chavez and the Venezuelan government reversed its decision yesterday about providing free home heating oil to bush Alaska.

Several days ago, they announced that their US oil subsidiary would NOT provide heating oil as they did last winter. The reversal of that decision is welcomed by residents, especially places like Ambler and Kotzebue where almost every resident can take full advantage of the program.

The Citizens Energy Corporation, run by Joe Kennedy in Massachusetts, is the non-profit organization that manages the program. The program benefits many native Americans in Alaska, Montana and South Dakota. Other states involved in the program are Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan and Wisconsin. Last year, the program benefited over 200 thousand households in 23 different states.

Locally, Talkeetna resident Carol Lincoln, was one of the first to make sure neighbors knew about the change.

Residents do not have to be native to qualify, but there is an income requirement.  If they qualify, they receive a voucher, which can be used for 100 gallons of heating oil.

According to Citizens Energy, they start taking applications on January 19 for those in need of assistance. The information is posted at citizensenergy.com. This will mark the 4 year that Citizens Energy has worked with Citgo Petroleum to distribute home heating oil to households.

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