Reed Moves to Provide Emergency Home Heating Relief
Tom Reed is advocating for relief from the ongoing home heating fuel shortage and resulting price increase this winter. The House passed legislation this week to address transportation barriers that have slowed home heating fuel delivery and left many unsure if they will be able to properly heat their homes and businesses. The Home Heating Emergency Assistance Through Transportation Act (HHEATT) was introduced by Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster of Pennsylvania and passed the House Tuesday.
“More than 12 million American households depend on propane to heat their homes and businesses,” Reed said. “The high demand throughout this winter’s extreme cold has outpaced supply and caused propane prices to skyrocket. Families need fair relief from their energy bills and the comfort of knowing they will be able to heat their homes.”
Earlier this winter, the Department of Transportation issued temporary emergency declarations to allow trucks delivering home heating fuels expanded delivery hours. The HHEATT Act creates a long-term extension of the Department of Transportation’s emergency declaration through May 31, 2014 to give families certainty that they will be able to heat their homes and businesses as the cold continues.
“We hear from homeowners and businesses under serious strain because of the high prices and short supply looking for a solution that allows them to care for their families and employees,” Reed said. “The long-term extension means that families, farms and businesses in our area will have immediate and continuing relief through the end of what continues to be a frigid winter. They need this emergency relief.”
A serious propane shortage in the region has led the price of propane in New York to skyrocket from $2.93 per gallon in early March last year to $4.05 per gallon so far this month. Reed says the bill is an important step in bringing immediate relief but that the lack of infrastructure and domestic energy development need to be addressed to avoid this kind of shortage and resulting price spike.
“Addressing insufficient infrastructure and the need for domestic energy development are both priorities in what will ultimately be the solution to this problem,” Reed continued. “Much more needs to be done in New York to stabilize heating and electricity prices to ease the burden on New Yorkers and that can be done with the resources we have.”