Dr. Benishek Urges President Obama to Help Respond to Increased Propane Prices for Michigan Families

Jan 24, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC:  Dr. Dan Benishek (MI-01) today urged President Barack Obama to help provide resources to Northern Michigan families who are facing propane price increases. 

“Having lived in Northern Michigan all my life, I know how tough it can be for families when they are being hit with larger than usual heating bills during the winter months.  This shortage and recent spike in propane prices are making it difficult for many who are struggling in this tough economy.  The fiercely cold winter we have been having has only made matters worse, especially for the neediest families.  And while the reasons for the price increase are complex, I am hopeful that we can work together to help address this issue,” said Dr. Benishek, a general surgeon and Iron River native. 

Dr. Benishek sent a letter to President Obama asking that his administration to ensure adequate emergency contingency funds are available for individuals struggling to pay higher home heating bills.   Recent propane shortages have pushed propane prices to over $6.00 per gallon.  Governor Rick Snyder has declared a state of emergency in Michigan in response to the propane shortage.

The letter sent to President Obama reads in part: “Like you, I feel that working families and seniors should not have to choose between heat and food in cold winter months.  It is my hope that you will work to ensure adequate Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) emergency contingency funds are available to all areas in need during this time.

The LIHEAP program was established in 1981 through which the federal government makes annual grants to states, tribes, and territories to operate home energy assistance programs for low-income households.  Over 600,000 households are served in Michigan by this program. Dr. Benishek has written to President Obama in support of LIHEAP funding each year since coming to Congress.

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