Proposed Budget Cuts Threaten Assistance to thousands of Mississippi Families
JACKSON, Miss. – Employees of Entergy
Mississippi, Inc. are joining forces with other low-income advocates in
Washington, D.C., to urge Congress to find $5.1 billion for America''s front-line
energy assistance program. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program helps
low-income citizens pay utility bills for heating in the winter and cooling in
According to a new study from Indiana
University, tough economic times have driven millions of Americans into poverty
in recent years, and those numbers will increase even as the economy rebounds.
The U.S. Census Bureau ranks Mississippi as having America’s highest poverty
rate with 22.4 percent of Mississippi living at or below the poverty level.
Meanwhile, LIHEAP funding has been reduced by nearly 40 percent over the last
“If LIHEAP funding is cut as
proposed, it will mean thousands of families will not be helped in Mississippi,”
said Liz Brister, external affairs manager for Entergy Mississippi, Inc. “We’ve
got to do all we can to help our neighbors and fellow Mississippians find the
means to pay for essential heating and cooling.”
Although LIHEAP prioritizes families
with preschoolers, elderly or disabled members, many U.S. veterans and their
families need LIHEAP. In fact, 20 percent of LIHEAP households are veterans and
in some cases, the families of active-duty service men and women.
Entergy employees and charitable
groups are participating in the National Fuel Funds Network’s Action Day for Low
Income Home Energy Assistance Program to call for more funding at the federal
level. Entergy has many programs designed to meet the needs of its low-income
customers including The Power to Care Fund made up of contributions from
customers, employees, and shareholders. However, even with these programs and
charitable organizations, the needs still outpace available resources.
“We and many others are asking
Congress to provide $5.1 billion for LIHEAP,” said Brister. “Families in
vulnerable situations are turning to LIHEAP in record numbers to make it through
these still tough times."
Citizens can stay connected to the
discussion and can even sign an online petition in support of LIHEAP funding by
and clicking on “LIHEAP Action Day”.
Entergy Mississippi, Inc. provides
electricity to more than 435,000 customers in 45 counties. It is a subsidiary of
Entergy Corporation. Entergy is an integrated energy company engaged primarily
in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns
and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric
generating capacity, and it is the second-largest nuclear generator in the
United States. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.8 million utility customers in
Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.