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Congresswoman Jenkins, Senator Roberts Urge President To Act On Propane Shortage

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FROM THE OFFICES OF CONGRESSWOMAN LYNN JENKINS (KAN.) AND SENATOR PAT ROBERS (KAN.)

Congresswoman Jenkins, Senator Roberts Urge President To Act On Propane Shortage

WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.) and Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) sent a letter to President Barack Obama today requesting immediate action regarding the current propane crisis in Kansas.

“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,” said Jenkins. “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 Governor 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.”

“While Kansas continue 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.”

Roughly 83,000 Kansas homes depend on propane gas for heat, many in the most rural parts of the state. Families are coping with a combination of supply shortages and rising prices. Industry officials have indicated transportation restrictions have led to delays in getting the propane from the distributors to homes.

A copy of the letter can be viewed below.

February 6, 2014

The Honorable Barack H. Obama
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave
Washington, D.C. 20550

Dear Mr. President,

We are writing to you in an effort to highlight a growing problem which has greatly affected the state of Kansas in recent weeks. You are no doubt aware of the price increase and supply challenges of propane gas, which are likely a result of unusually large demand for drying grain after the fall harvest, unseasonably cold temperatures for long periods of time, and disruptions in supply pipelines.

About 83,000 Kansas homes, a majority of those in the most rural parts of our state, depend on propane gas for heat. These families are experiencing unforeseen challenges in attaining sufficient supply and unfortunately, the record cold temperatures appear to have no intent of relenting, as our state has just experienced another massive snow storm.

In Kansas, Governor Sam Brownback has waived regulations for motor carriers who carry propane. We are grateful for steps taken by the U.S. Department of Transportation to issue emergency exemptions from the Hours of Service rules for propane gas and other home heating fuels, and ask this waiver extend through March as consumers recover from these extreme temperatures. Additionally, to ensure maximum delivery loads, we ask you to waive weight restrictions on delivery of propane, which could increase loads by up to 1,000 gallons per truck.

We appreciate your consideration of these requests, and encourage you and your administration to do anything you can to ensure that bureaucratic restrictions are not further exasperating this problem.

Sincerely,

Pat Roberts
United States Senator

Lynn Jenkins, CPA
Member of Congress

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