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Snyder extends heating fuel emergency, asks for federal help

Governor Rick Snyder
Governor Rick Snyder
Governor Rick Snyder

Governor Rick Snyder and other Midwestern governors have asked for federal assistance to help ease a shortage of propane gas throughout the region.

“We hope, with this request, that the federal government will join us in taking every possible action it can to help increase propane supplies and resolve this problem as soon as possible,” Snyder said in a written statement.

Snyder has also extended Michigan's heating fuel emergency for another week.The statewide propane emergency is now in effect until February 11. Lower-than-average winter temperatures and winter storms have led to higher demand for propane and spike in the cost of gas.

Michigan’s not alone in facing winter fuel shortages. Snyder and six other governors have asked President Obama to lift interstate highway weight restrictions on trucks that carry propane.

They also want the Small Business Administration to help out with emergency loans. Snyder has already lifted many trucking restrictions on state roads to make it easier for trucks to deliver propane. He’s also ordered state agencies to coordinate efforts to help people who need home heating assistance during the cold snap.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.