CITGO President and CEO Alejandro Granado and Citizens Energy Chairman Joseph P. Kennedy II have launched the seventh consecutive year of the CITGO-Venezuela Heating Oil Program.
The program will help more than 400,000 people this year in 25 states, including members of over 60 Native American tribes, families living in tenant-owned cooperatives, residents of over 250 homeless shelters, and thousands of single-family households.
“Over the years, the program has become the most important energy assistance program by an oil company. For CITGO, it aligns with the humanitarian and solidarity principles endorsed by the government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela through its national oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA) that we echo in everything we do,” said CITGO president and CEO Alejandro Granado, who was joined by Camden Mayor Dana Redd at the launch event. “CITGO is very proud to mark the seventh anniversary of our Heating Oil Program. Increasing energy costs continue to affect the quality of life for millions of people and impact community organizations that provide critical social services. As an energy company, we believe it is our obligation to use the strength of our resources to help alleviate the burden for those struggling to pay for home heating costs.”
The 7th edition of the program was launched with a delivery of fuel to the Camden, N.J., row-house of a grandmother living on a limited income. Arlene Grier, who raised three children in her home on Merrimac Road, thanked Granado and Kennedy after they made a delivery of free heating oil to her home.
Since 2005, CITGO has invested more than $400 million in energy assistance to those in need (’05-‘11). Last year alone, more than $60 million in heating oil was donated to low-income families and individuals. With higher costs for heating oil and reduced government funding for energy assistance programs, the need this year is greater than ever.
CITGO partners with Citizens Energy Corporation, a nonprofit created in 1979 by former U.S. Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy II, to implement the program. Citizens Energy, which has used successful ventures in the energy and health care industries to finance charitable programs in the U.S. and abroad, has provided energy assistance to families in need for over 30 years.