Nixon announces increased propane subsidy

By Associated Press

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Gov. Jay Nixon announced Monday his plan to put $15 million toward helping low-income Missourians cope

with rising propane prices.

The Democratic governor said the additional funding would allow low-income people to continue heating their homes even though

prices for the fuel have increased to more than $4 per gallon.

"No hard-working Missouri family should have to choose between putting food on the table and staying warm," Nixon said in

a written statement.

U.S. supplies of propane were depleted by a late harvest that increased demand from farmers who use it to dry grain before

storage. As colder-than-normal temperatures spread across much of the country, supplies dropped to the lowest level ever during

the second week of January.

The additional funds in Nixon's plan would come from the federal government's Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. It

would also double the amount each Missouri household can receive for propane assistance.

The governor's office estimates that 245,000 Missourians rely on propane to heat their homes.

Nixon's announcement is the latest in a string of actions by governors to address the high price of the gas. Officials in

Minnesota and Wisconsin last week also boosted aid for low-income residents. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed an executive

order prohibiting suppliers from price-gouging, and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence recently asked farmers and other propane users

to return unused portions to suppliers.

On Monday, House Speaker Tim Jones said that working toward a propane price inquiry would be a top priority in the coming


"We want to take every action possible to protect Missourians from what many fear is blatant price gouging," said Jones, R-Eureka,

in a written statement.