RAPID CITY, SD -- Citizens Energy Chairman, Joseph P. Kennedy II, the President of CITGO Petroleum Corporation, Alejandro Granado, and the Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Bernardo Alvarez, were honored by over 200 representatives from Tribal Nations across the country at a ceremony of thanks for the delivery of over $21 million in heating assistance grants by the companies to tribal members struggling to keep pace with the rising cost of energy.
The program, carried out in partnership by CITGO and Citizens Energy Corporation, provided over 200 tribal communities from Maine to Alaska with heating assistance grants for the second year in a row just at the time when federal assistance benefits were running thin and temperatures were dropping.
The direct grants to tribes began last year after CITGO received moving appeals from tribal leaders facing extreme difficulties managing the rising costs of energy and trying to stretch the stagnant funding from the federal government during the cold winter months. Hundreds of poor families in their communities were unable to keep pace and were resorting to unsafe methods to stay warm.
CITGO and Citizens Energy Corporation, a Boston-based non-profit, also partnered to distribute millions of gallons of heating oil assistance to low-income households throughout 16 states.
“At CITGO, we have the privilege to be involved in projects that we sponsor to help others and unite us in solidarity,” said CITGO Chairman, President and CEO Alejandro Granado. “This is a people-to-people program that comes from the heart of Venezuela to the homes of American families who just can’t pay their energy bills.”
“What is so unfortunate is that our First Americans are so often our Last Americans when it comes to help with high costs of heat and healthcare," said Citizens Energy Chairman Joseph P. Kennedy II. "We are so proud to partner with CITGO to deliver this assistance to so many families in such a great need.”
Tribes from Maine, New York, Massachusetts, Alaska, Minnesota, Montana, South Dakota, North Dakota, Michigan, Arizona, Oregon, Nebraska and Washington state received assistance grants through this program.