WASHINGTON, Jan. 15, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In a letter to Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, the 3,000 mostly small business members of the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) called on the Secretary to grant regional exemptions from Hours of Service (HOS) regulations for the Midwest and Eastern Service Centers to relieve the pressure on the current propane distribution network. In the fall of 2013, a number of separate events occurred that, when combined, exacerbated the effects of the transportation and infrastructure challenges in the network.
Richard Roldan, NPGA's President and CEO, explained that this is a transportation and distribution issue, not a supply problem. "The supply of propane in the United States is strong. In the last year, we produced more than a billion gallons of propane. What the industry is experiencing now is a distribution challenge brought on by a number of factors, including: a late, wet grain and corn harvest, historic low temperatures, insufficient propane storage, pipeline maintenance, reduced capacity for propane transports via rail, and a change in the flow of energy in North America."
So far, 24 states, primarily in the Midwest and Northeast, have issued HOS waivers. Highlighting the need for a regional waiver, Roldan continued, "Some states forgo issuing exemptions citing the significant expenditure of resources and coordination needed between the industry and state officials. A regional waiver would eliminate the patchwork of state exemptions and provide an important measure of uniformity throughout these regions."
During regional emergencies, federal law allows for a representative of the President (such as a Cabinet Secretary) or a Governor to declare a regional emergency and relief from state regulations. The letter to Foxx cites the "…interruption of the delivery of essential supplies, i.e. propane winter heating fuel, that continues to exist…" as the specific regional emergency necessitating this action.
A copy of the letter can be downloaded at: www.npga.org/RegionalWaiverLetter.
The National Propane Gas Association is the national trade association of the propane industry. NPGA represents approximately 3,000 companies, including producers, wholesalers, transporters, and retailers of propane gas as well as the manufacturers and distributors of associated propane equipment and appliances. 50 million Americans choose propane as their energy source. Propane is a clean-burning, efficient and climate-friendly alternative fuel that is available now. For more information about NPGA and the propane gas industry, visit NPGA online at www.npga.org.
SOURCE National Propane Gas Association