Venezuela cuts off oil pipeline for 200,000 US homes

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    Damnthematrix

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    Venezuela cuts off oil pipeline for 200,000 US homes

Venezuelacuts off oil pipeline for 200,000 US homes

Article
from: Agence France-Presse

http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,24883063-5003402,00.html

From correspondents in Washington

January 07, 2009 09:58am

SOME 200,000 US households will no longer get cheap
heating oil from Venezuela after the state-owned CITGO subsidiary announced it
was dropping the program due to falling oil prices.

"Citizens
Energy has recently been informed by CITGO that due to falling oil prices and
the world economic crisis, CITGO has been forced to re-evaluate all their
social programs, including the heating oil program,” Citizen Energy
Corporation spokesman Brian O’Connor said.

"Close
to 200,000 households throughout the US” benefited from the Venezuelan program
since 2005, he said, adding that Venezuelan oil donations in 2007 amounted to
$100 million ($138 million).

Leftist
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in 2005 irked the administration of President
George W. Bush when he announced the cheap heating oil program for US
households in the midst of rising oil prices.

Some
branded the offer as propaganda.

Since
July, however, the price of oil has plummeted from $US130 a barrel to a little
over $US27, raising concerns in Venezuela, which derives 90 per cent of its
foreign currency revenues from oil.

The
government gets half its funding from oil.

Citizens
Energy president Joseph Kennedy II said he personally appealed to Mr
Chavez to keep the discount oil program running, to no avail.

Mr
O’Connor said the group was warned weeks ago by Citgo
of its impending decision, which he regretted came as a shock "not only in
the middle of the winter, but in the middle of an economic shot,” referring to
the global economic crisis.