INDIANAPOLIS—State Senator Richard D. Young Jr. (D-Milltown) is urging the governor to declare a State of Emergency to address the propane shortage currently experienced by Hoosiers around the state. The already low supply of propane used as fuel to keep grain dry during the summer has become scarce with the extremely low temperatures. The issue is further compounded by producers’ practice of shipping propane overseas, creating an even tighter supply domestically.
“This situation is a serious crisis that demands action by the governor,” said Sen. Young. “We need to protect Hoosiers from both the cold and from any price-gouging associated with the shortage in supply.”
Sen. Young recently voted to approve an amendment to Senate Bill (SB) 1 which would require sales tax collected by merchants in January through March for that part of the cost of propane purchases over $2.50 per gallon to be tracked and credited to the consumer for future purchases after March 31, 2014.The senator is also working to keep residents informed on emergency assistance available through state and local agencies.
Sen. Young noted that consumers who feel they have been unfairly charged for propane may contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Complaint Division at 1-866-241-9753 or online at www.IndianaConsumer.com.
“Price-gouging protections must be acted upon if the governor takes the urgently needed step of declaring a State of Emergency,” continued Sen. Young. “I have asked him to take this measure, as other states have done to mitigate this crisis as soon as possible.”
The U.S. Department of Transportation has issued an emergency declaration for much of the area. The action has some effect on delivery of propane but does not address the supply. Disruptions in supply at the delivery, production, and consumer levels threaten the well-being of the public and business communities.
Additionally, Sen. Young is asking the public to check on their neighbors who may be dangerously low on heating fuel as the winter progresses. Below are several actions to help conserve propane:
• Use electric blankets and electric space heaters
• Use alternative heat sources such as wood fireplaces
• For cooking, use crock pots, slow cookers or microwave ovens
• Turn down thermostats on hot water heating units
• Turn down furnace thermostats and dress warm while inside homes
Residents may also contact Sen. Young’s office at (800) 382-9467 or firstname.lastname@example.org for additional assistance.