News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

January 29, 2014

Hoosier lawmakers request emergency propane extension

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Jackie Walorski and Hoosier lawmakers sent a letter to U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today requesting an emergency extension to exempt motor carriers from hours of service limitations to enable the delivery of much-needed propane and home heating fuels throughout the Midwest during the severe winter weather.

“We have heard from many distributors and customers in Indiana who have been directly impacted by this shortage. As additional winter storms and unusually low temperatures continue to impact the Hoosier state, the situation is becoming critical,” wrote lawmakers.

On Jan. 14, 2014, the U.S. Department of Transportation declared a state of emergency for the Midwest, waiving hours of service limitations to ensure consumers can steadily receive home heating fuels that remain in unusually high demand. The exemption is set to expire on Feb. 11, 2014, but lawmakers are requesting an extension beyond Feb. 11 if necessary to ensure there is no disruption to delivery assistance for Hoosiers.  Due to a variety of factors ranging from seasonal weather patterns to distribution challenges, upper Midwest propane inventories are already low.

The State of Indiana has also issued an emergency proclamation waiving hours of service limitations for propane transporters that remains in effect until Jan. 31, 2014. Federal action would ensure that an emergency exemption stays in place across the Midwest until arctic temperatures subside and are less threatening to Hoosier families.

This morning, Congresswoman Walorski delivered remarks about the letter on the House floor.

Full text of letter:

January 29, 2014

The Honorable Anthony Foxx

Secretary

U.S. Department of Transportation

1200 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.

Washington, D.C. 20590

Dear Secretary Foxx,

We appreciate your efforts to address the propane distribution challenges that have resulted in a propane shortage throughout the Midwest. The emergency declaration issued by the Department of Transportation on January 19, 2014 to exempt motor carriers from hours of service limitations will enable the delivery of much-needed supplies throughout the Midwest as quickly as possible.

As you know, the emergency exemption ends at 11:59 p.m. Central Standard Time on February 11, 2014.  We are writing to ask that you continue to closely monitor this situation and extend the exemption without delay should this shortage continue beyond February 11.

We have heard from many distributors and customers in Indiana who have been directly impacted by this shortage. As additional winter storms and unusually low temperatures continue to impact the Hoosier state, the situation is becoming critical.

We know you share our desire to assist the many Americans impacted by this shortage and understand the need to act rapidly to ensure this situation is remedied as quickly as possible. Thank you for your continued attention to this matter. We look forward to your reply.

Sincerely,

Rep. Jackie Walorski

Sen. Dan Coats

Rep. Susan W. Brooks

Rep. Larry Bucshon, M.D.

Rep. Luke Messer

Rep. Todd Rokita

Rep. Marlin Stutzman

Rep. Todd Young

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