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Venezuelan Oil Arrives

A tanker ship is set to arrive in Braintree today carrying low-cost home-heating oil from Venezuela for needy people in Massachusetts and other northeastern states.

Venezuela will sell its oil at a 40 percent discount to low income U.S. families, including hundreds in Massachusetts.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez started the program three years ago.

Despite some controversy over his intentions, the program brings some relief to needy New Englanders. One in every two households in the region burns heating oil.

Costs are expected to jump more than 20 percent this winter over last year. The local nonprofit, Action for Boston Community Development, says federal heating aid has decreased 35 percent in the past 2 years.

The state plans to chip in another $15 million this winter.

This program aired on December 10, 2007. The audio for this program is not available.

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