Alaskan Native Americans Eager to Receive Fuel from CITGO
Dec 1, 2006
KOTZEBUE, ALASKA --- Representatives from a dozen villages in Alaska’s Northwest Arctic Native Association met yesterday to formally accept an offer from the CITGO Petroleum Corporation, providing more than 193,000 gallons of heating oil to help keep about 1,800 coastal Eskimo households, or approximately 8,000 people, warm this winter.
The fuel is worth around $828,000, as heating oil prices have risen to an average almost $5 per gallon in the region. The event was the kickoff of the 2006 CITGO-Venezuela Tribal Heating Oil Program in
CITGO President and CEO Félix Ródriguez and Margaret Alvarez, wife of Venezuelan Ambassador to the United States Bernardo Alvarez, who was representing her husband, spoke at the event. Mrs. Alvarez thanked those present for their “warm welcome to this beautiful country,” and noted that the Venezuelan government respects the rights of all native people throughout the world, including those in
Ródriguez said that the CITGO-Venezuela Tribal Heating Oil Program is expected to provide 10 million gallons of heating oil worth about $11 million to Native Americans in
“We are more than just an oil company. We are neighbors and friends who care for those in need,” Rodríguez added. He said that the program is a “people-to-people” one that comes straight from the heart of the Venezuelan people to the villagers.
Many representatives from the associations and organizations that serve the villages agreed and repeatedly thanked CITGO for its assistance. Many said they were amazed that a major oil company would do such a thing.
Gil Gutierrez, a representative of the Copper River Native Association in central
“We will be getting enough fuel to help about 550 people in 132 households,” he said. “We’re a depressed area. In the winter, most of us don’t have any work and, when I left, it was 40 degrees below zero with the wind-chill factor. When it gets that cold, we band together as neighbors to help each other and now we have another neighbor, CITGO. We are very, very happy to accept CITGO’s help.
“There is a very thin line between living and just surviving when you are on a fixed income,” he added. “It’s often a matter of paying for fuel or buying food. It’s that simple for us, so help from our new neighbor, CITGO, really helps.”
CITGO, based in
For more information visit www.citgo.com .