MI programs help people in need of propane

Andrea Clark's snow-covered propane tank in Kalamazoo. (Jan. 30, 2013)
Andrea Clark's snow-covered propane tank in Kalamazoo. (Jan. 30, 2013)

LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — The State of Michigan is taking action to help people affected by the recent propane shortage.

The initiatives will help provide more heating and financial assistance as well as increase supplies of propane, according to a Wednesday release from Gov. Rick Snyder’s office.

The Department of Human Services is working with the legislature to give an additional $7 million to the Low Income Heating and Energy Assistance Program due to heavy demand.

Residents who need heating assistance with propane or other deliverable fuels can call 211 or visit michigan.gov/heatingassistance.

The Department of Natural Resources will be issuing firewood permits – which typically are not sold during the winter – and will inform residents where to find available firewood for sale in each county.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation will be starting a loan program for propane dealers and distributors that need help dealing with the high demand and limited supply of propane. Dealers and distributors interested in the program are asked to call 888.522.0103 or visit www.michiganbusiness.org.

The Snyder administration has also been working to increase supplies of propane.

This week, more than 1.3 million gallons of propane have been delivered to storage facilities in Marysville, northeast of Detroit on the Canadian border.

On Tuesday, Snyder and five other governors asked the Obama administration for assistance to increase supplies of propane to the Midwest.

The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration extended the State Emergency Declarations in the Midwest on Wednesday, easing restrictions on truck drivers and assisting in the delivery of propane.
The declaration will remain in effect until March 1.

The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs is working alongside with the Michigan Propane Gas Association to help customers who may have trouble getting their tanks filled through their provider.

If customers have trouble with a supplier not having enough propane, they can contact LARA at 866.551.0005.

The Attorney General’s Office has been investigating reports of price gouging due to the shortage.

Customers that may have experienced price gouging can contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 877.765.8388 or michigan.gov/ag.

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