U.S. Representatives Tom Petri, R-Wis., Chairman of the House Highways and Transit Subcommittee, and Bill Shuster, R-Penn., Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, introduced legislation on Tuesday to help expedite propane deliveries during the cold weather season.
H.R. 4076, the Home Heating Emergency Assistance Through Transportation Act of 2014, extends current declarations from the U.S. Department of Transportation to allow tank truck operators carrying propane to drive beyond the current hours-of-service limits through May 31, in order to speed up delivery in affected states. Current DOT exemptions expire after 30 days.
“This winter has been exceptionally cold, resulting in a greater demand and smaller supply of propane. This is a huge problem in Wisconsin and many other areas where families are unable to heat their homes even though temperatures have averaged below zero,” said Petri. “This important legislation provides certainty for suppliers and will expedite the ability for propane to reach homes that are running low or have already run out.
The bill, which has nine original cosponsors, awaits action by the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
FMCSA issued emergency declarations earlier this year for several parts of the country due to propane shortages with some being extended at least once. All are set to expire the first of next month.