Franken talks propane shortage and Lewis and Clark

WORTHINGTON – U.S. Senator Al Franken said Wednesday he’s been pressing the White House to address the issue of the propane shortage, which has reached a crisis point.

“Approximately 250,000 Minnesotans use propane to heat their homes,” Franken said, "with the average price of a gallon of propane costing $1.67 in October. Now that average price is $2.59, and in some places, much higher.”

Franken said this past year has become ‘the perfect storm’ for causing prices to rise. A wet fall that required farmers to dry a lot of corn, followed by a very cold winter; there have also been rail disruption, pipeline outages and the export of propane is outstripping production.

At least 25 states have issued emergency declarations or executive orders pertaining to propane, Franken said, and he planned to talk to the Secretary of Energy later today discuss what they can do to remedy the situation. Franken wants the exporting of propane restricted, and said more can be moved into the area by truck and rail.

He would also like to see more assistance sent toward LIHEAP, the low income home energy assistance program.

“There’s just always price gouging in situations like this,” he said, “which is really unfortunate.”

Franken also talked briefly about his latest efforts on the behalf of the Lewis and Clark Regional Water System. He had stopped in Worthington last week to speak with some of the key players in the issue. He has been a proponent for Lewis and Clark since his took office and is frustrated over the federal government’s lack of promised funding.

“This is something where Minnesota communities have paid in, and we aren’t getting the water we’re supposed to get,” he said. “Now we’re paying more. This is wrong - we got the water flowing in South Dakota, now we need it to come to Minnesota. This is something that I just won’t let go of until we get the full funding for this, until we get this done.”

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Go the alternative

They also should look for other alternative to ease out the propane shortages. - Adam LaFavre

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