Anticipating frigid temperatures and dramatically higher energy prices, President Joe Biden’s Department of Energy is spending $4.5 billion from its Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program to help households heat their homes this winter, The Associated Press reported.
The home energy program, established in 1981, usually spends about $3.5 billion every year to help more than 5 million low-income families year pay utility bills and make repairs to improve energy efficiency. Last winter, $8 billion was spent as part of the coronavirus relief package.
The DOE is rolling out another $9 billion initiative to pay for energy upgrades to 1.6 million homes over the next 10 years, to weatherize homes and install 500,000 new heat pumps, AP reported.
The White House is using yet another $250 million, from the Defense Production Act, to increase the production of heat pumps in the U.S.
While the $13.8 billion is a welcome solution for some, the boom in spending only exacerbates the affordability problem, according to Patrick Hedger, executive director of the Taxpayer Protection Alliance.
“This is an unsustainable path that the administration is on,” he told Fox News. “When you introduce this kind of spending in an inflationary period, all you’re going to do is drive prices higher. They’re not doing anything to address the underlying problem, which is the lack of supply.”
Some have blamed Biden’s restrictive energy policies — canceling the Keystone pipeline, suspending new federal oil and gas leases, higher drilling fees on federal land, and pushing the Federal Reserve toward climate change policies — as creating an adversarial relationship with those who could help ease the shortages, The New York Post reported.
Tom Kloza, the global head of energy analysis for Oil Price Information Service, which provides price transparency across the global supply chain, said, “You’ve got diplomacy on Ukraine. You’ve got diplomacy with Iran. Now you’ve got diplomacy with Venezuela,” Kloza said. “You know, it might be advisable to have some diplomacy with oil and gas companies.”
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