Kansas lawmakers join call for presidential action on propane shortages

Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.) requested on Thursday that President Obama take action to address the propane shortage that has gripped Kansas and other states around the nation.

The legislators noted in a letter to Obama that approximately 83,000 homes in Kansas use propane for heat, including many in rural parts of the state. Transportation restrictions have contributed to shortages in supply and price increases throughout the state.

“Due to large demand for drying grain and record low temperatures, propane prices have skyrocketed and led to supply challenges for thousands of Kansans this winter,” Jenkins said. “Families, especially in rural areas, need propane to heat their homes and are being hard-hit by this crisis as prices continue to rise. I am pleased (Gov. Sam Brownback) has worked with the Department of Transportation to temporarily waive regulations for motor carriers and it is my hope we can work with the president to provide additional regulatory relief for our state and ensure this issue doesn’t happen again in the future.”

The lawmakers asked Obama to waive transportation weight restrictions to help expedite the delivery of propane.

“While Kansas continues to dig out from the latest snow storm it is imperative that the federal government provide industry with the regulatory flexibility beyond the current deadline to provide consumers with the propane they need to heat their homes,” Roberts said. “I see this cold streak lasting past March 1, which is why congresswoman Jenkins and I have asked that the president direct the Department of Transportation to extend the waivers through the whole month of March.”