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Snyder, Midwest governors send letter to president for propane help
February 04, 2014
LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder and governors from six other Midwestern states today sent President Barack Obama a letter formally asking for assistance in dealing with a propane supply shortage that is affecting the states’ residents.
Snyder said his administration has worked closely with the propane and rail freight industries to improve supply levels. So far several dozen rail cars have already delivered an additional 1.3 million gallons of propane to storage facilities in Marysville in recent days to improve supplies for customers and dealers.
“My administration is working very hard to lessen the impact of the propane shortage that has affected so many in our state in recent months,” Snyder said. “We hope, with this request, that the federal government will join us in taking every possible action it can to help increase propane supplies and resolve this problem as soon as possible.”
The letter asks the Obama administration to explore regulatory waivers aimed at increasing the supply of propane in Midwest states. The governors requested an extension of the hours of service waiver and for a temporary waiver of weight limits on the interstate highway system, to help fill critical gaps between propane supply and demand. The letter also encourages the Small Business Administration to ease loan requirements that can help entities within the states’ communities respond to and recover from the propane shortage.
The joint letter was signed by Snyder and six other members of the Midwestern Governors Association, including Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, and Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback.
The governors pledged to continue to monitor the propane situation in each respective state and use the tools available to relieve the supply shortages and to ensure families can heat their homes, livestock producers can warm their animals, and businesses can fuel their operations.
Snyder issued Executive Order 2014-3 on Jan. 31, extending Michigan’s energy emergency until Feb. 11. The order allows motor carriers and drivers carrying propane on Michigan highways to be exempt from state and federal hours-of-service regulations in order to guarantee the most efficient delivery of resources. As a result of the extended waiver, drivers may continue to exceed the number of consecutive days and total hours in which they can operate a commercial motor vehicle.
Snyder last week directed all relevant state agencies to help consumers affected by the shortage.
Residents in need of heating assistance are asked to call 211 or visit michigan.gov/heatingassistance for help. Customers who are concerned about possible price gouging should contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-877-765-8388 or file an online complaint at michigan.gov/ag. The Michigan State Police Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division also offers information about being prepared before, during and after an emergency or disaster, at www.michigan.gov/beprepared.