Thursday, December 15, 2011

Some New Englanders are running out of winter fuel

New England is running into a winter heating crisis, as federal programs providing fuel to low-income people are being cut.
It's a bipartisan thing, this desire to cut back heating support:

The Obama administration has proposed cutting money for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program in half — to about $2.5 billion nationwide. A spending bill in the U.S. House calls for cutting spending to $3.4 billion; the Senate is proposing $3.6 billion.
In Ripton we built an assistance program called REAP.  On our own we find good wood, haul it to a town shed, cut it up, then stack the pieces in an accessible location.  Here's a post on doing some of that community work.

If we're in a national economic crisis, this kind of local, grass-roots, peer-to-peer mutual aid is essential.  Hopefully we'll see it grow, as "outside" support declines.

1 comment:

Charlie Hohn said...

Glad to hear this is happening. I'm still interested in the idea of burning buckthorn - I found some dry buckthorn and burned it in a friend's stove and it seemed to work fine, though it burned fairly fast due to being small in diameter. Do you know how hard it is to create those wood pellets? Is that something a community could do?