- Associated Press - Friday, January 31, 2014

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Gov. Mary Fallin wants the Oklahoma Department of Human Services to give priority to helping families who use propane to heat their homes amid a growing shortage of the fuel and rising prices.

Fallin issued an executive order Friday instructing DHS to expedite applications for both the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program and Energy Crisis Assistance Program. The federal programs help low-income families with heating costs in the winter, cooling costs in the summer and home insulation.

Fallin also ordered DHS Director Ed Lake to open the Energy Crisis Assistance application period for those who depend on propane for heat.

Meanwhile, Attorney General Scott Pruitt says he’s investigating propane price increases and other issues surrounding its availability. There are about 400,000 propane users in Oklahoma, mostly in rural areas.

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