Gov. Branstad today declared a proclamation of disaster and energy emergency due to the record high demand for propane throughout the upper Midwest. This Proclamation of Disaster Emergency activates the disaster response and recovery aspect of the Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Department’s (HSEMD) Iowa Emergency Response Plan.
Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Human and Health Services (HHS) released a second Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) appropriation of $7,419,062 to the State of Iowa to help Iowa families heat their homes during the cold weather. Additional information may be found here. The action comes following Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Reynolds writing President Obama expressing their concern with the propane shortage in Iowa and requested the President’s engagement.
“We appreciate the collaboration of the federal government, Midwest Governors, and Texas officials on trying to resolve the propane shortage here in the Midwest,” said Branstad. “We have had productive conversations with the U.S. Secretary of Energy, U.S. Secretary of the Department of Transportation, Governor Rick Perry, other governors, members of the propane industry and Iowans to do everything possible to resolve this propane issue.”
“We continue to urge the federal government to reduce the regulatory burden so propane can be transported to the Midwest states,” Reynolds said. “We have driven collaboration across state lines from Texas to Washington, D.C. to make sure Iowans have the propane they need to heat their homes, businesses are able to fuel their operations and livestock producers can warm their animals.”
Additionally, the Branstad-Reynolds administration launched the Propane Shortage and Heating Assistance Webpage. This webpage is a one-stop shop with information regarding low-income home energy assistance program (LIHEAP), reductions in regulatory burdens to propane transport, energy, cost-saving tips and other resources for Iowans.
The propane shortage and cold weather conditions may prompt Iowans to seek alternative sources of heat. The Propane Shortage and Heating Assistance Webpage contains important safety information for those using space heaters and other heat sources.