Sixteen states have made similar declarations in recent weeks as prices for LP gas, like propane, have skyrocketed and supplies have dwindled to dangerous levels.
According to the Illinois Petroleum Gas Association, 35-40% of homes in Illinois are heated by propane gas. High demand during harvest and frigid winter temperatures have depleted supplies of gas throughout the Midwest. Prices have also skyrocketed from around $1.50 per gallon in the summer to over $5.50 per gallon in some places currently.
“Thousands of Illinoisans are struggling to heat their homes, and many business owners and livestock producers don’t know whether they will be able to access or afford necessary supplies of propane,” said Senator McCann. “It is my hope the Governor will join numerous other states from across the country in helping ease the burden and cost on many families and businesses in our state.”
If Governor Quinn declares an emergency, he may temporarily lift the 80,000-pound weight limit on Illinois interstate highways, to allow more gas to be shipped in. He could also provide increased assistance to low and moderate income persons through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and would allow suppliers to qualify for low-interest loans to reduce the carrying costs of purchases.
The Illinois Petroleum Gas Association says no such declaration has ever been made in Illinois, but that the state is experiencing historical cold and demand for the product.