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Saturday, February 8, 2014

Government action sought on propane price spike

Posted By on Sat, Feb 8, 2014 at 6:53 AM

Arkansas's U.S. senators have joined others in seeking federal help
because of difficulties faced, particularly in rural areas, thanks to a sharp rise in the price of propane.

click to enlarge COSTLY REFILLS: Propane prices have surged.
  • COSTLY REFILLS: Propane prices have surged.
Republican legislators in Arkansas have been among those loudly complaining about this situation. Gov. Mike Beebe has already declared an emergency.

Of course. When the market deals rural dwellers a crippling blow, who else would you turn to for help but the Huckster's Uncle Sugar?

I'm fine with that, by the way.

But …. 

People on subsistence wages or long-term unemployment or without money for health care for their children or short  of food because of food stamp cutbacks? They are victims of their own sloth. They should get a job, or if employed at the low minimum wage, get a second job. Open a health savings account. Find a church that'll provide some medical care. Lots of dumpsters contain perfectly edible food. It's not government's role to provide for people who can't provide for themselves. Right?

On a calmer, non-snark note: The New York Times today endeavors to explore how propane prices have increased so sharply at a time of a boom in natural gas production. Weather, a wet corn crop last year (more propane required for drying) and rising exports are among the factors. States are weighing a variety of strategies to cope, including tax cuts.

If President Obama does declare a federal disaster, do you think the chicken growers in Rep. Tom Cotton's district can count on Pete King's vote?

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