U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin applauded the Obama Administration for releasing federal funds to help with the rising cost of propane. Yesterday, Baldwin called on the Administration to immediately release Wisconsin's share of the remaining Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funds. Today, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that Wisconsin would receive more than $14 million in federal funding.
"Rural homeowners across Wisconsin are experiencing crisis conditions due to the propane supply shortage and resulting price hikes in the Midwest. In light of the propane emergency and the disproportionate impact of high prices on low-income Wisconsinites, yesterday I called on the Department of Health and Human Services to immediately release Wisconsin's share of the remaining Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program funds," Baldwin said, "I applaud the Obama Administration for taking this action in response to the crisis faced by Wisconsin families and businesses. It is my hope that Governor Walker will embrace this federal funding and put it to work providing much needed relief to Wisconsinites."
Wisconsin is in the midst of a bitterly cold winter. On top of the normal heating cost increases that come along with arctic temperatures, rural families and business owners have struggled to find the next load of propane fuel to keep warm. As fuel has become scarce, the price of propane has risen from $2.20 per gallon at the beginning of January to over $6 per gallon in just three weeks.
The LIHEAP allocation can now be rapidly deployed in Wisconsin to aid families who are struggling with the impacts of this shortage. Today's funds released to Wisconsin are in addition to $88.9 million in Low Income Heating and Energy Assistance Program funds that were released to Wisconsin in November. The total LIHEAP funds in Wisconsin this year is $103,103,118.