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After Push from Minnesota Lawmakers and Governor Dayton, Administration Takes Action to Make It Easier to Transport Additional Propane to Minnesota and Other Areas Affected by Ongoing Propane Shortage

February 05, 2014

In response to letter sent last month, the Administration announced today that it is extending the State Emergency Declaration hours-of-service exemption, giving propane suppliers the ability to safely transport propane from areas with a larger supply to regions affected by the shortage
 
More than 200,000 households in Minnesota rely on propane as their main source of heat

 
WASHINGTON, D.C. – After a push from U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken and Representatives Collin Peterson, Betty McCollum, Tim Walz, and Rick Nolan, and Governor Mark Dayton, the Administration today announced it is taking action to make it easier to transport additional propane to Minnesota and other areas affected by the ongoing propane shortage. In response to a letter sent by the lawmakers last month, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced that it was extending the State Emergency Declaration hours-of-service exemption to March 1st in the Midwest region. The exemption will give propane suppliers the ability to safely transport propane via roadways from areas with a larger supply to regions affected by the shortage like Minnesota. More than 200,000 households in Minnesota rely on propane as their main source of heat.
 
“As more cold weather bears down on Minnesota, it’s absolutely critical that families are able to heat their homes and stay warm,” Klobuchar said. “Today’s announcement will help deliver additional supplies of propane and some much-needed relief to families and businesses in Minnesota that have been hit hard by the ongoing shortage.”
 
“The propane shortage in Minnesota has reached a crisis point,” Franken said. “That's why I've been pressing the Obama Administration to take immediate action and ease the burden for Minnesotans who are running low on the fuel. This is a critical step that will help get propane to the homes, businesses, and farms that desperately need it.”

“Minnesotans across our state are living in fear that they will run out of the fuels they need to keep their families safe and warm,” said Governor Dayton. “On behalf of all Minnesotans affected by this ongoing propane shortage, I thank President Obama for taking action to help increase the transport of critical heating fuels into our state.”
 
"It's good to hear that action is finally being taken to help with the propane situation.  I continue to hear from folks in my district who are concerned about keeping their homes, businesses, and livestock barns warm during this time of high prices, and I look forward to hearing about additional actions that can be taken to help in these circumstances," Peterson said. "I will continue to work with my colleagues in the House and Senate to resolve this issue."

“During this particularly harsh Minnesota winter, I am glad to see the Administration taking steps to help keep families safe and warm as we deal with this propane crisis,” McCollum said.

“With prices skyrocketing and stores of propane growing shorter by the day across northern Minnesota, our ability to bring additional supplies into the state without undue regulatory barriers is absolutely critical,” Nolan said. “So I am delighted that the Administration has responded to quickly and positively to our request.”



“I spoke personally with Administrator Ferro again yesterday and urged her to extend this wavier to help alleviate the propane shortage. I’m pleased that our call was heard and this waiver, that will allow truckers to quickly and safely increase the supply of propane in southern Minnesota, was granted,” Walz said. “While this is an important step to help alleviate the problem in the short term, more needs to be done. I will continue advocating for both short and long term measures to give southern Minnesotans peace of mind and prevent future shortages from occurring.”
 
Last week, after a push from Senators Klobuchar, Franken, and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), the Administration announced it was releasing additional emergency LIHEAP funds to help families during the ongoing propane shortage.