Walker to hold meeting to discuss propane shortage

A worker fills a propane tank on Monday, Dec. 23, 2013.
A worker fills a propane tank on Monday, Dec. 23, 2013.
MADISON (AP) - Gov. Scott Walker says he will be gathering stakeholders on Monday to discuss a shortage of propane heating fuel in Wisconsin.

Walker said Thursday there is no quick fix to the shortage hitting many regions nationwide and sending prices for propane and natural gas to record highs. He has issued executive orders that allow truckers who deliver propane to work longer hours. The state Department of Transportation has authorized a weight limit relief order for vehicles transporting energy in Wisconsin to increase the amount of propane carried in a single trip.

Walker is also asking people to check on neighbors and loved ones who rely on propane to heat their homes; contact their propane vendor when their supply reaches 30 percent; and conserve the propane they have. Walker says even turning down a thermostat a degree or two will help make propane last longer.

Republican state Sen. Dale Schultz on Wednesday asked Walker to use some of the state's surplus revenue to address the problem, but Walker says more money will not have an impact.

Winter storms and bitter cold are contributing to the problem.

According to the Energy Department 5.5 million U.S. households heat with propane, mostly in the Midwest and South.