Proposed legislation addresses pitfalls that led to propane shortage

September 22, 2014 By    

Rep. Bob Latta, R-Ohio, introduced the Propane Supply and Security Act, legislation that he says will address the root causes of the propane shortage experienced last winter in a number of states.

According to a press release, Latta’s legislation bears the same name as legislation Sens. Al Franken, D-Minn.; Rob Portman, R-Ohio; and Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., introduced last summer. Latta’s legislation is designed to complement the solutions the senators devised.

According to Latta, his bill provides means to better track propane supplies so potential shortages are better forecasted. The bill establishes the secretary of energy as the coordinator of federal and state emergency response efforts to ensure a coordinated response in the event of future shortages. The legislation also clarifies that propane shipments can be prioritized in emergencies.

In addition, the Propane Supply and Security Act addresses propane costs by directing the Department of Commerce to more accurately calculate consumer propane prices. The bill directs the secretary of energy to study the effectiveness and feasibility of increasing regional propane reserves to mitigate future supply shocks. And it expands the list of equipment covered under the U.S. Department of Agriculture storage facility loan program to include propane tanks.

Support for Finger Lakes

Latta, Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minn., and 22 other members of Congress sent a letter to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, expressing their support for the proposed Finger Lakes propane storage project and offering their assistance in moving the project forward.

Crestwood’s proposed storage facility, with the capability to store 88 million gallons of propane, is one mechanism that would relieve regionalized distribution constraints and help prevent future propane shortages, like those experienced last winter throughout the country, according to a press release from Latta’s office.

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