CITGO, Citizens Energy Launch Annual Heating Oil Program

Will assist more than 400,000 people in 25 states

CAMDEN, N.J. -- CITGO president and CEO Alejandro Granado and Citizens Energy chairman Joseph P. Kennedy II has 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 more than 60 Native American tribes, families living in tenant-owned cooperatives, residents of more than 250 homeless shelters and thousands of single-family households, he said.

"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, Petroleos de Venezuela SA, 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," he added.

Since 2005, CITGO has invested more than $400 million in energy assistance to those in need. 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.

"We don't want families to have to choose between heating their homes or buying basic necessities such as food or medicine. No one should be forced to make those types of decisions," said Granado. "We are grateful that through our CITGO-Venezuela Heating Oil Program, we can make families' lives a little warmer."

CITGO partners with Citizens Energy Corp., 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 United States and abroad, has provided energy assistance to families in need for more than 30 years.

"Senior citizens and low-income families are facing a terrible hardship this winter," said Kennedy. "Heating oil prices are close to record levels, while federal fuel assistance has been more than cut in half. Households that got over $1,000 in assistance two years ago will be getting less than half that this season--barely enough for half a tank of oil."

CITGO, based in Houston, is a refiner, transporter and marketer of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products. The company is owned by PDV America, Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of PDVSA, the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

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