U.S. sends aid to Minnesota to help with propane emergency


The federal government is sending $15.8 million to Minnesota to help families struggling with the short supply and high cost of propane.

The Star Tribune reports the emergency funds from the Department of Health and Human Services will replenish the state's heating assistance program. Wisconsin is getting $14.2 million, with more than $450 released nationwide, the newspaper says.

Earlier this week U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken of Minnesota and Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin wrote a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius urging the release of emergency funds to help families that heat their homes with propane.

Minnesota has now established a hotline people can call if they are in danger of running out of fuel or if they have questions about the propane shortage. The number is (800) 657-3504. As the Duluth News Tribune reports, a state Emergency Operations Center has been activated to coordinate the efforts of various agencies.

Gov. Mark Dayton, who declared an emergency order on Monday, plans to meet Friday with the state's Executive Council and with propane suppliers.

The Winona Daily News says numbers from the U.S. Energy Information Administration show propane prices have doubled in a week and are 277 percent higher than they were in October.

Why the price hike?

There seems to be no simple answer. The letter from the Senators makes reference to transportation bottlenecks and the high demand during this particularly cold winter.

But critics of energy exports say the U.S. may be sending too much of its propane overseas. Reuters reports restrictions on exports of crude oil and natural gas do not apply to propane. A spokesman for Senate Energy Committee chairman Ron Wyden tells Reuters the propane crunch shows that energy exports put U.S. consumers at risk.

Next Up

Taylor Rogers

Twins Rumors: Taylor Rogers could draw interest despite injury

The left-hander was placed on the injured list on Tuesday.


Severe storm watch: Apple-sized hail, 75 mph winds possible

A watch has been issued by the National Weather Service.

Screen Shot 2021-07-27 at 7.28.06 PM

Slain Red Lake officer identified as husband, father-of-four

Police say he was shot while responding to a report of a suicidal male who possibly had children the house.

Go Fund Me - Adam Richard Johnson

Remains in Mississippi mark 4th discovery of man's dismembered body parts

Officials on Tuesday confirmed the remains found July 4 are those of Adam Johnson.

Facebook - GoGo dog stolen vehicle -  St. Paul Police Department

Missing dog GoGo found dead in owner's stolen vehicle 3 days later

The vehicle was reported stolen with GoGo inside on July 18

Flickr - face masks covid pole - Ivan Radic

The 14 MN counties with 'substantial or high' COVID-19 transmission

The CDC says everyone in these areas should wear a mask in indoor public places.

Pexels - woman grocery shopping mask covi

CDC: Masks recommended in places with 'substantial or high' transmission

This new guidance applies to everyone, regardless of vaccination status.

Screen Shot 2021-07-27 at 1.10.29 PM

WATCH: Vikings Live with Matthew Coller: Welcome to training camp

Vikings Live with Matthew Coller is a new Vikings show that streams Tuesdays.

YouTube - Minnesota DNR - watering tree

Tips for watering trees during severe drought, sprinkler restrictions

How can you keep your valued trees healthy? Just follow these simple steps.

police tape, crime scene

Minnesota saw record number of murders in 2020, BCA says

The BCA released its annual Uniform Crime Report on Tuesday.

Flickr - Red Lake Nation sign - Ken Lund

Red Lake police officer fatally shot on Tuesday

The officer was reportedly shot near Redby.