Bill would ease propane shortages

Reps. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) and Tom Petri (R-Wis.) introduced a bill on Tuesday that would take steps to relieve the shortage of propane and home heating fuels across the country.

The Home Heating Emergency Assistance Through Transportation Act would address transportation and distribution issues that have hampered the delivery of propane.

“This extremely cold winter is expected to continue, possibly threatening the lives and livelihoods of those with homes, farms and businesses that depend on heat from propane and other home heating fuels,” Shuster, the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said. “This bill will provide the certainty needed to give much needed relief to those who have been impacted by this shortage. The HHEATT Act will help provide relief from transportation issues that have slowed desperately needed fuel from reaching those who need it during this emergency.”

The Department of Transportation issued temporary emergency declarations that permit truck operators delivering propane to drive longer hours for 30 days in an effort to expedite deliveries.

The HHEAT Act would extend the DoT’s emergency declaration until May 31. The measure would allow the secretary of transportation to lift the extension if it’s no longer needed before May 31.

“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,” Petri said.