6th Annual CITGO-Venezuela Heating Oil Program Helps the Most Vulnerable
BOSTON, Jan. 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — CITGO Petroleum Corporation has announced the start of the sixth consecutive year of the CITGO-Venezuela Heating Oil Program, which helps approximately 500,000 individuals every winter, including those in more than 250 tribal communities and 234 homeless shelters across 25 states and the District of Columbia. CITGO President and CEO Alejandro Granado and the chairman of Citizens Energy Corporation, Joseph P. Kennedy II, were joined by a CITGO-Venezuela Heating Oil Program recipient to officially launch this year’s program with a home heating oil delivery to a family in the Boston area.
“CITGO is very proud to mark the sixth anniversary of our Heating Oil Program, our flagship social development initiative, which is in alignment with the humanitarian and solidarity principles endorsed by the government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela through its national oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A (PDVSA),” said CITGO President and CEO Alejandro Granado. “Since its beginning in 2005, this program has been fully supported by President Hugo Chavez and it has been maintained over time thanks to the solidarity that exists between the people of Venezuela and the United States. It is without doubt one of the most important and long-lasting social development initiatives implemented by any large energy corporation in the U.S. and around the world.”
Mr. Granado pointed out that according to official figures, eight million U.S. households are forced to choose between heating their homes and covering other vital necessities. “What would each one of us choose if we could only afford one or the other? Would you warm your home or feed your family? Those are decisions no one should have to make,” he said. “Although at CITGO we cannot help eight million households in need, we believe that every home that we do get to warm alleviates the need, and makes a difference, one home at a time,” he added.
CITGO has partnered with Citizens Energy Corporation, a non-profit organization created by Joseph P. Kennedy II, a Boston native, to help implement the program. Citizens Energy Corporation works across the country to support families in need of home heating oil assistance and ensure that the CITGO-Venezuela heating oil donations reach the people that need help the most. Since 2005, 170 million gallons of home heating oil have been donated to needy families across the United States to help them stay warm through the winter months.
“Every year, we hear from families who struggle each and every day to put food on the table and heat their homes,” said Joseph P. Kennedy II, President of Citizens Energy Corporation. “We are deeply grateful to CITGO and the people of Venezuela for their generosity to those who need help keeping their families warm. Every year, we ask major oil companies and oil-producing nations to help our senior citizens and the poor make it through winter, and only one company, CITGO, and one country, Venezuela, has responded to our appeals.”
The CITGO and Citizens Energy presidents delivered heating oil to the South Boston home of Diane Clark, who is raising her three adopted grandchildren, ages 2, 4, and 8, while caring for her 63-year-old brother, who has cerebral palsy. “I really appreciate the help from CITGO and Citizens Energy,” said Clark, who works part-time at the U.S. Post Office. “I work, but it’s a real struggle taking care of the kids and my brother.”
The CITGO-Venezuela Heating Oil Program began in 2005 in the aftermath of Hurricanes Rita and Katrina. Thousands of low-income people in the United States called for assistance as they struggled with the high price of heating oil that the resulted from the hurricanes’ destruction. This plea triggered an open letter on Oct. 27, 2005 from 12 U.S. Senators, including Senators John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, and Harry Reid. They requested that oil companies step forward to help low-income families affected by the high prices of heating oil. As the senators stated in their letter, “American families need economic relief from high energy prices.”
Families struggling to pay for home heating oil can call Citizens Energy Corporation at 1-877-JOE-4-OIL (1-877-564-4645) or apply online at www.citizensenergy.com to see if they are eligible for heating oil assistance. If approved, the household will receive an authorization letter from Citizens Energy Corporation and details on how to arrange delivery with an approved heating oil dealer.
CITGO, based in Houston, is a refiner, transporter and marketer of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products. The company is owned by PDV America, Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A., the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. For more information, please visit www.citgo.com.
Beginning in 1979 with oil-trading ventures in Latin America and Africa, Citizens Energy has used revenues from commercial enterprises to channel millions of dollars into charitable programs in the U.S. and abroad. Whether heating the homes of the elderly and the poor, lowering the cost of prescription drugs for millions of Americans, or starting solar heating projects in Jamaica and Venezuela, Citizens creates social ventures as innovative as the businesses that finance them. For more information, please visit www.citizensenergy.com.
SOURCE CITGO Petroleum Corporation