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Your Views: State steps up to help fight propane shortage

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February 10, 2014

None of us expects that a gallon of gasoline will cost us $10 tomorrow, or that a gallon of milk will run us $7.50. We just don't budget for household items to skyrocket in price overnight.

And yet, without much warning, last month, 250,000 Wisconsin families were shocked to open their heating bills to find tripled charges. Now, they're being told their propane tanks will only be partially filled because supplies are so low.

The culprit is a “perfect storm”: a wet fall that required farmers to use propane to help dry crops and an exceptionally cold winter, combined with the shutdown of a major propane pipeline in November and December. Increased demand led to increased prices.

Federal and state officials have joined forces to help families impacted by the shortage and price hikes.

President Obama released an additional $14.2 million to the state of Wisconsin, and $7 million was immediately directed to the Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance program for low-income households. Any family making at or below 60 percent of the median income—that's $47,485 for a family of four—may qualify, and benefits will be available through May 15. If you or someone you know needs help paying for propane—or is running low on propane—please call 866-HEATWIS.

If you're faced with this propane crisis, know that my heart goes out to you—but I'm also reaching my hand out to help. Don't hesitate to call, toll-free, at 888-534-0043 anytime!

REP. ANDY JORGENSEN

43rd Assembly District



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