INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -
Gov. Mike Pence asked farmers and others to return any unused propane to
their suppliers Wednesday, as the state continues to feel the effects of an
ongoing regional shortage.
announced he would extend travel waivers to truckers to maintain the flow of
propane to homeowners and farmers and add $5 million in heating assistance
for low-income residents.
estimated that roughly 500,000 Indiana residents rely on propane to heat
“I think the
actions we’re taking today are all focused on trying to bring some real
relief,” Pence said. “It is not an overstatement to say we are facing a
serious shortage in propane.”
actions come on the heels of recent legislative efforts. The Indiana Senate
gave initial approval to lifting the sales tax on propane sales Tuesday,
since propane prices have skyrocketed amid the shortage. Some customers are
reporting seeing prices double from $2.50 a gallon to $5 a gallon.
Pence noted that
heavy rainfall during the fall required farmers to dry their grains with
propane, combined with brutally cold temperatures this month to create a
squeeze on propane supplies.
Indiana’s congressional delegation, meanwhile, sent a request to the U.S.
Department of Transportation to lift a federal limit on hours when suppliers
can transport fuels.
“We have heard from
many distributors and customers in Indiana who have been directly impacted
by this shortage. As additional winter storms and unusually low temperatures
continue to impact the Hoosier state, the situation is becoming critical,”
the group wrote in a letter Wednesday to U.S. Transportation Secretary
Reps. Susan Brooks, Larry Bucshon, Luke Messer, Todd Rokita, Marlin Stutzman
and Todd Young signed onto the letter with U.S. Sen. Dan Coats, a