State Representative Scott Dianda (D-Calumet) called on Gov. Rick Snyder today to act quickly in aiding U.P. residents struggling to stay warm during the propane shortage. According to the Michigan Public Service Commission, propane inventories in the U.P. are 46 percent below last year’s level, and the shortage is causing increased propane costs.

“I am deeply concerned for the many Michigan families struggling to pay their propane bills and stay warm this winter,” Dianda said. “It saddens me that the governor has not yet taken sufficient action to help U.P. families, and I am asking that he takes the appropriate steps to ensure all Michiganders are kept safe during this record-setting cold winter.”

Among his recommendations for the governor is a suggestion to call on the Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC) to increase the availability of low-interest loans to propane suppliers. The governor has yet to do this. Dianda would also alter Michigan’s Winter Protection Plan criteria to allow more families who rely on propane to qualify for assistance.

“We are being called upon to take decisive action during this propane crisis,” said Dianda. “I do not think the governor understands the urgency of the situation or the hardship that price spikes and rationing have caused in the U.P. Today I say to Gov. Snyder – We share the responsibility of protecting our constituents. It is our job as officials elected by the people to keep Michigan families safe and warm during this harsh winter.”

Currently, there is some state assistance available for families and individuals who are in danger of losing their heat and can demonstrate need. Those in need of help are encouraged to dial 2-1-1 to connect with local aid agencies or contact their local Department of Human Services office. Those with questions or concerns are encouraged to contact Dianda’s office toll-free at (888) 663-4031