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Heat and Drought Conditions in the United States Telegram Sent to Governors of 12 States.

July 25, 1980

I want to commend you for the swift and effective actions you have taken in [State] to ease the impacts of the continuing heat wave on our citizens. I am certain that your actions have minimized both the loss of life and various health hazards associated with the extreme heat conditions.

I pledge to you the continuing support of the federal government during this unusual situation. I have already directed John Macy, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate the federal government's response. I have also directed the heads of other federal agencies, including the Community Services Administration and the departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services, to work with state and local officials in assessing the impacts of the heat wave on our people and the agricultural sector, and to provide needed assistance through existing federal programs.

Finally, it has been brought to my attention by FEMA and by state and local officials that life and health threatening situations associated with the heat wave have resulted in large part because of low income and elderly persons' fears about their ability to pay higher than usual utility bills. In such instances, some of these economically disadvantaged persons have decided not to use various cooling appliances. If you have not already done so, I urge you to work with the state's public utility commission in establishing deferred utility payment plans for low income and elderly persons because of the difficulty that such persons might encounter in paying their increased utility bills.

Thank you for your assistance.



Note: This is the text of identical telegrams sent to the following Governors: Forrest H. James, Jr., of Alabama; Bill Clinton of Arkansas; George Busbee of Georgia; James R. Thompson of Illinois; John Carlin of Kansas; John Y. Brown, Jr., of Kentucky; David C. Treen of Louisiana; William F.. Winter of Mississippi; Joseph P. Teasdale of Missouri; George Nigh of Oklahoma; Lamar Alexander of Tennessee; and William P. Clements, Jr., of Texas.

Jimmy Carter, Heat and Drought Conditions in the United States Telegram Sent to Governors of 12 States. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/251178

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