CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Venezuelan-owned CITGO is giving 100 gallons of free home heating oil to needy families in 15 states this winter, including Michigan, Indiana and Pennsylvania. Ohio did not make strongman Hugo Chavez's annual charity list. Too capitalist? Citizens Energy administers the program and says:
"Low-income families have little choice but to cut back on food, medicine, and other life essentials when their come energy costs rise. Bad choices lead to bad outcomes. When the heating bills of poor families rise, studies show they often reduce their spending on food by about the same amount, and it is no suprise that cases of undernourished children increase by about one-third during winter months."
Consumerist says a family with a household income of less than $40,000 probably qualifies for the free heating oil. It notes:
"It is almost sweet of our communist friends to shove the inequalities and harsh realities of capitalism in our faces with a program that actually helps people pay for an increasing unwieldy cost of living expense."
[UPDATE: 7:33 PM -- Adirondack Musing in New York has seen the TV ads in that state with Joe Kennedy urging people to apply for the heating oil, along with a newspaper columnist's complaint about Chavez's foreign assistance program.]
About the only reasons The Bellwether has heard to explain why the heating oil is not available in Ohio are: (1) Citgo is not very active in the state, and (2) Ohio uses more natural gas than heating oil. No. 2 seems the more likely explanation.
Photo: Wikipedia via Agencia Brasil