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Red Lake fuel assistance rises to $495,000

Ramona Desjarlait, program director for Red Lake's CAP/Weatherization Program has announced the program will receive $495,000 for fuel oil assistance, an increase of almost $100,000 over the 2009-2010 season.

The assistance is for eligible Red Lake members, both on and off the reservation. The donation is from the Citizens Energy Programs Association in partnership with CITGO Petroleum Corporation and is for the 2010-2011 winter season.

Funding is based on the number of families that have received Low Income Households Energy Assistance Program assistance. The grant will be used to arrange for the purchase and delivery of heating fuel to qualified and approved LIHEAP households that are members of the tribe, and to nonprofit or governmental facilities or social institutions serving members of the tribe.

Desjarlait said that she expects the fuel assistance to serve the same number of members as last year, about 2000 families.

CITGO and Citizens Energy Corporation will provide millions of gallons of heating oil to nearly a quarter million families at no cost. This includes homeless shelters and Native American communities in several states including Minnesota, North and South Dakota. The company's commitment to providing fuel at no cost was developed five years ago in the aftermath of Hurricanes Rita and Katrina, when it stepped forward to help communities ravaged by the storms.

Based in Houston, CITGO is a refiner, transporter and marketer of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals, refined waxes, asphalt 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.