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Clinton okays aid for heating

President Clinton acted Saturday to help insulate Americans coping with snow, ice and frigid temperatures from what he said may become the coldest winter in years _ releasing an additional $300-million in emergency aid.

"None of us can control the weather. But all of us are responsible for how we respond to and prepare for it," Clinton said in his weekly radio address. "With the actions I am taking, the federal government is fulfilling its responsibility."

With major storms blanketing the Midwest, penetrating the South and threatening the East Coast, Clinton announced the government will release the additional money to help poor families deal with soaring energy prices.

"Along with similar funds I released earlier this fall, we've now devoted more than $850-million to assist families who can least afford to bear the burden of high energy prices this winter," he said.

The White House said cold-weather states in the Northeast and Midwest will receive most of the money, but that all states will receive some help "since low-income households throughout the country are experiencing sharp energy price increases." The money comes from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program administered by the Department of Health and Human Services.