Skip to main content

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

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

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

Screen Shot 2022-05-21 at 5.46.37 PM

Video shows officers ended pursuit before fatal crash in Anoka

The crash occurred when the driver fled police during an attempted traffic stop in Coon Rapids.

Eli Hart

6-year-old Eli Hart identified as boy found dead in car trunk

The kindergartner's father was trying to get full custody of his son.

IMG_3509

Boy found dead in trunk of car in Mound was kindergartner

"It is horrifying and difficult to process a tragedy of this magnitude, especially in our close-knit community," the superintendent wrote.

Minneapolis police

Man found yelling for help after being shot in Minneapolis

The shooting occurred on the 800 block of Elwood Avenue North at around 9:15 p.m.

Screen Shot 2022-05-21 at 9.56.21 AM

Minneapolis North principal says she was fired, district says otherwise

“MPS requires schools to follow protocols in times like that and I did not,” Friestleben said.

Kris Richard Severin

Inmate who escaped Minnesota prison is captured

The inmate escaped Wednesday morning.

Brave New Comedy Workshop in downtown Minneapolis.

Brave New Workshop cancels shows due to COVID-19 cases

The shows were scheduled for Friday and Saturday at the Brave New Workshop Comedy Theatre.

Austin Retterath

Body of missing U of M student found in Mississippi River

Austin Retterath was last seen alive in the morning hours of May 8.

"Love" mural seen in St. Paul.

Summer mural events to bring together community, shine light on MN artists

The 2022 Chroma Zone Mural & Art Festival will take place this weekend in St. Paul's Creative Enterprise Zone, with ensuing events happening this summer.

14869-Manitou-Road-NE-Prior-Lake-MN-55372-6110268-image37

Gallery: Remodeled lakeside home in Prior Lake on market for $2.8M

It offers privacy at the end of a dead-end road fronting onto Lower Prior Lake.

golden valley police department

Carjacking outside ice arena in Golden Valley under investigation

Golden Valley PD confirmed it received a report of a carjacking Monday evening.

Related