INDIANA, (WOWO): Governor Pence declared what he called an “energy emergency”, as he and others tried to reassure those who use propane that the state will help them get through the current shortage.
Pence is suspending “divisible loads for propane suppliers,” which is supposed to make it easier for propane to be delivered to Indiana. The emergency proclamation is in effect until March 1.
Roughly 500,000 people use propane to heat their homes, about ten-percent of Indiana households. The record cold has depleted the propane supply in the midwest, as did the temporary closing of a major pipeline for maintenance last fall. As a result, the price of propane has more than doubled over the last couple weeks.
“Hoosier homeowners, businesses and the farming community are facing propane shortages and unrelenting temperatures, and the State continues to exhaust all possible options to alleviate the impact of this crisis,” said Pence. “As in the past, the compassionate nature of Hoosiers is evident, and I urge all to be mindful of their propane usage, and I ask those who might have a surplus to help their neighbors in need.”
Pence‘s proclamation extends his temporary waiver on limits to the hours of service for propane transporters, to help suppliers better meet the market demand for propane. The governor also warned suppliers to not gouge customers, saying the Attorney General‘s office would be monitoring prices. INDOT also has switched its fleet of light duty trucks which are capable of running on propane to an alternate fuel; they are currently running on unleaded gasoline. He also asked people who use propane to conserve as much as possible.
Also, the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority released an additional $5 million for the state‘s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which will allow homeowners in the program extra money to pay for propane to get them through the winter.