More than 30 Midwest States Declare State of Emergency as Cold Blast Worsens Propane Shortage

42a6be1f-1eed-4f77-94d7-be9c4f259c7b-460x276The governor of Iowa, Terry Branstad, has called on President Barack Obama to act as bitter winter weather caused a shortage of propane heating fuel and a massive spike in prices in some of the coldest regions of the US. Propane is used by more than 12m households across the country, according industry statistics, and its shortage has led to a state of emergency being declared in more than 30 states. Prices are up more than 17% from a year ago, according to the US Energy Information Administration. Ahead of the president’s State of the Union speech, Branstad has written to Obama expressing his concern about a crisis now sweeping the midwest: “Prices in some midwest locations have now exceeded $5 per gallon. Such prices are unsustainable for families, farmers and businesses,” he wrote. Among other measures, he called on the president to relax transportation rules and allow drivers to work longer hours to deliver fuel while shortages continue. Branstad’s move came after Wisconsin governor Scott Walker became the latest governor to declare a state of emergency Saturday in response to the ongoing shortages and another incoming arctic front. Sub-zero temperatures swept the midwest again this week. On Tuesday the National Weather Service reported arctic winds blowing across Iowa and southern Minnesota would hold high temperatures to between 1 degree above zero and minus 3, with a low of 3 to 10 below zero. “The health and safety of our citizens is our number one priority, and this declaration gives us the necessary resources to protect the residents of Wisconsin,” Walker said in a statement. “I will do everything I can within my power to help our friends and loved ones relying on propane to heat their homes or businesses during this challenging situation.” More

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