Senate Democrats

S. 3186, the Warm in Winter and Cool in Summer Act

Summary and Background

On June 23, 2008, Senator Sanders introduced S.3186, the Warm in Winter and Cool in Summer Act, along with Senators Leahy, Brown, and Cardin as original co-sponsors. Since its introduction, the bill has gained more than 49 co-sponsors including the support of twelve Senate Republicans.

S.3186 would significantly strengthen the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which helps low-income Americans pay their energy bills. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 1,000 Americans died from hypothermia in their own homes from 1999 to 2002.  In addition, the CDC has found that the annual mortality rate from extreme heat in the U.S. has exceeded the death tolls from floods, tornadoes, and hurricanes combined since 1998. 

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) has predicted that utility costs will continue to rise in 2008 and 2009, which will put even greater stress on the budgets from lower-income families. The EIA expects that he average residential U.S. electricity prices will increase by 5.6 percent in 2008 and 16 percent in 2009, the average U.S. residential price for natural gas will increase by 16 percent in 2008 and 34 percent in 2009, and the average residential price for heating oil will increase by 49 percent in 2008 and 63 percent in 2009. Since President Bush took office, residential electricity prices have increased by 18 percent, residential natural gas prices have increased by 35 percent, and residential home heating oil prices have increased by 108 percent.

Major Provisions

The Warm in Winter and Cool in Summer Act would nearly double the funding for LIHEAP.  The bill would provide an emergency appropriation to LIHEAP of $2.53 billion for Fiscal Year 2008, which would increase its total appropriation to $5.1 billion. 

This emergency appropriation of $2.53 billion would be allocated evenly between the statutory formula allocation and the contingency fund which is released at the discretion President Bush. The attached chart (see appendix 1) shows how much funding each state is projected to receive under S.3186.

Legislative History

Senator Sanders introduced S.3186 on June 23, 2008. Senator Reid placed the bill on the Senate calendar on June 25, 2008 and moved to proceed to the legislation on July 17, 2008 (Senator Cornyn objected).

Expected Amendments

The DPC will release information on amendments as it becomes available.

Administration Position

At the time of publication, the Bush Administration had not released a Statement of Administration Policy on the Warm in Winter and Cool in Summer Act.

Appendix 1

Projected LIHEAP Funding Increase Under S.3186

Alabama

$52,207,684

Montana

$17,484,318

Alaska

$17,224,945

Nebraska

$21,896,359

Arizona

$24,680,040

Nevada

$11,591,748

Arkansas

$25,935,782

New Hampshire

$27,079,492

California

$104,391,398

New Jersey

$80,311,579

Colorado

$30,941,799

New Mexico

$11,318,104

Connecticut

$59,797,655

New York

$250,435,966

Delaware

$10,504,003

North Carolina

$79,433,121

District of Columbia

$4,417,781

North Dakota

$18,992,480

Florida

$80,747,364

Ohio

$112,567,399

Georgia

$70,287,805

Oklahoma

$36,381,394

Hawaii

$1,423,198

Oregon

$11,251,668

Idaho

$8,241,310

Pennsylvania

$210,357,690

Illinois

$117,386,938

Rhode Island

$21,088,119

Indiana

$54,371,472

South Carolina

$37,911,568

Iowa

$24,565,050

South Dakota

$15,425,279

Kansas

$26,126,049

Tennessee

$47,606,182

Kentucky

$34,848,044

Texas

$134,336,826

Louisiana

$44,396,681

Utah

$17,758,527

Maine

$36,596,392

Vermont

$20,567,956

Maryland

$52,460,930

Virginia

$59,805,322

Massachusetts

$98,973,680

Washington

$17,316,565

Michigan

$114,609,254

West Virginia

$15,394,074

Minnesota

$52,362,731

Wisconsin

$47,133,976

Mississippi

$25,751,789

Wyoming

$7,109,737

Missouri

$70,266,851

Territories

$346,926

Source: Senator Sanders’s staff. These projections are based on the historical distribution of funding over the last three Fiscal Years and an increase in the formula funding.

Bookmark and Share