To deal with a propane crisis that has more than doubled the price this week, State Representatives Joe Riding of Altoona and Todd Prichard of Charles City are filing an emergency bill next week to provide an additional $1 million to help Iowans struggling to pay for the huge increase in propane costs.
“With temperatures falling below zero every week, Iowans can’t go without heat this winter. The rising cost of propane is putting many Iowans in a dangerous situation,” said Rep. Riding.
“The high cost of propane has become an emergency situation for thousands of families, especially in rural Iowa,” said Rep. Prichard. “As legislators, our job is to react quickly to this crisis and provide additional assistance to keep Iowans safe this winter.”
The lawmakers are filing a bill to add $1 million to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) that will help propane users heat their homes. Propane prices are typically in the $2 per gallon range, but this week the price jumped to $3.50 per gallon and even reached over $5 per gallon on Thursday. For a typical 500 gallon tank, that means the cost to fill the tank has risen from $1,000 to over $2,500.
On Monday at 1:30 pm, lawmakers are also meeting with representatives from Iowa’s propane industry at the State Capitol to find out if there are other steps the Legislature can take to ease the crisis and prevent it from occurring again.
To apply for home heating assistance, Iowans can go to their local Community Action Agency (CAA) or log on to www.dcaa.iowa.gov/bureau_weath/how_apply.html. Iowans can also call 1-877-565-4450 for more information.