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Joe Kennedy : Left Out In The Cold & Need Heating Oil? Call 1877JOE4OIL

Business  (tags: Joseph Kennedy, CITGO, Venezuela, heating oil, poverty )

- 3395 days ago -
...promised to continue helping American Indian and other low income communities to keep warm this winter, the Venezuelan government will continue its unique CITGO home heating oil program despite the gloomy global financial crisis. Call 1877JOE4OIL

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Blue Bunting (855)
Thursday February 5, 2009, 4:41 pm
CITGO’s home heating oil program continues

By Gale Courey Toensing

Story Published: Jan 23, 2009

Story Updated: Jan 23, 2009
BOSTON – Making good on its promise last fall to continue helping American Indian and other low income communities to keep warm this winter, the Venezuelan government will continue its unique CITGO home heating oil program despite the gloomy global financial crisis.

Alejandro Granado, the chairman, president and CEO of CITGO, Venezuela’s national oil company announced the continuation of the social program at a press conference in Boston Jan. 7 with Joseph P. Kennedy, the eldest son of the late Robert F. Kennedy and chairman of Citizens Energy, a nonprofit organization that administers the Venezuelan home heating oil program.

“This decision is the result of a strong commitment and a big effort on the part of CITGO and our shareholders in light of the current global financial crisis and its impact on the oil industry in general,” Granado said.

The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela launched the home heating oil program in response to an appeal from the U.S. Senate. In the fall of 2005, 13 U.S. senators wrote to the major oil companies asking them to show some “sense of corporate citizenship” by providing heating fuel aid to low-income families in the face of the Bush administration’s cuts in federal assistance. CITGO was the only oil company to step forward.

Since then, CITGO has provided hundreds of millions of gallons of heating oil to hundreds of thousands of low-income households, and tens of thousands of families in Indian country. Last year, the heating oil program provided some 200,000 households in 23 states with fuel, including more than 65 American Indian tribes and large low-income housing cooperatives in New York City. In addition, the CITGO funds provided heating grants to more than 210 homeless shelters in 14 states. The 2008-2009 heating season marks the fourth year of CITGO’s donations.

Kennedy pointed out that he is “personally aware of President Chavez’s genuine concern for the most vulnerable, regardless of where they may live. Evidence of this is that President Chávez wanted all necessary efforts made to ensure the continuation of the program, so its recipients will not be disappointed.”

Because of the falling price of crude oil over the last several months, CITGO had been forced to evaluate all its social programs, including the heating initiative.

“This decision is a clear, direct message from President Chávez of his desire to strengthen relations between his country and the United States, particularly at this time, when a new U.S. administration is scheduled to be sworn-in within the next few weeks,” Kennedy said.

Earlier in the week, Citizen’s Energy announced the suspension of the program, citing falling oil prices and the world economic crisis. News that the home heating oil program would continue was welcomed in Maine where the program began four years ago.

Former Penobscot Indian Nation Chief James Sappier was instrumental in initiating the heating oil program and traveled along the northern tier of the country with CITGO representatives to coordinate the program among tribal nations.

“When I saw in the media that the program had been suspended I said, ‘oh my God,’ and immediately sent an e-mail to all my guys at CITGO and the (Venezuelan) embassy to thank them very much for the program and tell them that I understand the economics and so on of why it would be cancelled. We got to know them personally because they came to visit and we took them up the (Penobscot) river and so I told them, ‘program or not, they were still invited to come to Maine and fish and hunt and so on,’” Sappier said.

On Jan. 7, Venezuelan Ambassador Bernardo Alvarez called Sappier to let him know the program is going forward.

Upwards of 600 Penobscot households both on and around Indian Island benefit from the home heating oil program, Sappier said.

“It really is an extraordinary gift, especially in these times. It was in the past too, but particularly now. We’re not rich people. I think too about the poor people in the cities like Boston and Providence and how this is really good for them as well. We do appreciate President Chavez stepping forward and making this decision with CITGO to move ahead on the program. We really do. He’s a decent guy.”

Income-eligible households interested in getting up to 100 free gallons of heating oil can call the toll-free hotline number (877) JOE-4-OIL starting Jan. 19 to apply for assistance. Citizens Energy will send out authorization letters to approved households, who then contact their local dealer to arrange deliveries.

For more information visit


Michael T. (0)
Wednesday January 26, 2011, 9:40 am
Mary Mulldune has been trying to get a hold of someone from liheap, joe for oil, but can't get through. Wrong number, people are busy etc. are the excuses. I can understand their busy but it's been 3 days now that she's been trying and no answer. What's going on?

Lucille S. (0)
Thursday January 27, 2011, 12:36 pm
I sent this to an email ....I have been trying to contact Joe for Oil’s phone number 1-877-563-4645 and it keeps telling me lines are busy. I have been trying since the 24th, well really on the website it said after Jan 12th so I called and then is said after the 24th. I need an application sent to me. Is there anything you can do for me? It would be greatly appreciated. This was the reply: Please call from the 27th and on the # 1 877 563 4645 to obtain info .. It saids the same thing...what is going on???


Michael T. (0)
Thursday January 27, 2011, 1:55 pm
Ww've been tring and trying and can't get through. It's been 3 days, now, and with constant effort. I'll take any sussestions. MikeT

Christine H. (0)
Sunday April 3, 2011, 3:25 pm
Called feb 2 said they would send application as of March 11 I never received on they kept telling me to check the mail then when I emailed them they said they would send another a week later I called and told me I never received my application they told me the ran out of funds Bull S---. The past two years I never had a problem with my application all of a sudden two got losed in the mail What's up with that . I get all my other mail no problem.

Michelle H. (0)
Tuesday January 3, 2012, 6:19 am
Are you out of funds I've been calling for over a week. If you can please let me know my 3 children really need heat. We have part's of the mobile home we live in closed off to stay warm.

Charles A. (0)
Wednesday January 4, 2012, 11:00 am
I've been having the same problem as all the other comments I see on this page. Why can't I get through to joe-for-oil? Why can't you just make an application online? I didn't have any trouble last year. Very dissapointing and frustrating. I need help now...

Charles B.

Kevin H. (0)
Monday January 9, 2012, 10:54 am
Well their is hope out their !! After more then 3 weeks trying to call JOE 4 OIL we final got through !! On the phone with them now, they said 15 minute wait !! Getting our 100 gals. !! GOOD LUCK TO EVERYONE TRYING TO GET THROUGH !!

Mary Ann S. (0)
Friday January 13, 2012, 7:33 am
I've been calling joe for oil since the first day the ad was on tv and still haven't been able to speak to anyone. They must only take a certain amount of calls oa day because no matter when I call its the same message everytime. Thank goodness it has been a mild winter so far.

Mary Ann S. (0)
Thursday February 9, 2012, 6:27 am
I guess I am not the only one who has had problems getting through to Joe for oil. I have been trying to get through since the first time I had seen the advertisement on tv and today is Feb. 09, 2011 and I am still getting the recording. Seems to me that the recording should just say "We are not taking anymore applications." I don't understand why they don't let you apply on line, so we can fill out the application and send in any information necessary. I have been calling everyday starting at 8:59 in the morning hoping I can get hrough, but I always get the recording. Not a very nice way to help people.
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