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Brownback Acts On Propane Costs, Shortage

Gov. Sam Brownback is taking steps to help reduce a shortage of propane needed for home heating. He's easing trucking regulations and directing state officials to provide help to poor families.

Brownback and the state fire marshal say Kansans who are running low on propane should not try alternate heating methods that could be unsafe.

"There's a temptation sometimes to do almost anything to stay warm and some of those things, like using a stove to keep warm or hooking up a five gallon propane tank to your house, is dangerous. It can cost lives,” said Brownback.

The national average price for propane spiked recently to more than $4 a gallon, up more than $1 a gallon since last week.

Industry and state officials say bitter cold, supply line problems and high propane demands for grain drying have led to the shortage. Brownback is directing the Department for Children and Families to give priority to propane users in a state program that assists poor families with utility costs. About 83,000 Kansas homes use propane for heat.

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