Congresswoman Jackie Walorski and Hoosier lawmakers sent a letter to U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today requesting an emergency extension to exempt motor carriers from hours of service limitations to enable the delivery of much-needed propane and home heating fuels throughout the Midwest during the severe winter weather.
“We have heard from many distributors and customers in Indiana who have been directly impacted by this shortage. As additional winter storms and unusually low temperatures continue to impact the Hoosier state, the situation is becoming critical,” wrote lawmakers.
On January 14, 2014, the U.S. Department of Transportation declared a state of emergency for the Midwest, waiving hours of service limitations to ensure consumers can steadily receive home heating fuels that remain in unusually high demand. The exemption is set to expire on February 11, 2014, but lawmakers are requesting an extension beyond February 11 if necessary to ensure there is no disruption to delivery assistance for Hoosiers. Due to a variety of factors ranging from seasonal weather patterns to distribution challenges, upper Midwest propane inventories are already low.
The State of Indiana has also issued an emergency proclamation waiving hours of service limitations for propane transporters that remains in effect until January 31, 2014. Federal action would ensure that an emergency exemption stays in place across the Midwest until arctic temperatures subside and are less threatening to Hoosier families.
Full Text of Letter:
January 29, 2014
The Honorable Anthony Foxx
U.S. Department of Transportation
1200 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20590
Dear Secretary Foxx,
We appreciate your efforts to address the propane distribution challenges that have resulted in a propane shortage throughout the Midwest. The emergency declaration issued by the Department of Transportation on January 19, 2014 to exempt motor carriers from hours of service limitations will enable the delivery of much-needed supplies throughout the Midwest as quickly as possible.
As you know, the emergency exemption ends at 11:59 p.m. Central Standard Time on February 11, 2014. We are writing to ask that you continue to closely monitor this situation and extend the exemption without delay should this shortage continue beyond February 11.
We have heard from many distributors and customers in Indiana who have been directly impacted by this shortage. As additional winter storms and unusually low temperatures continue to impact the Hoosier state, the situation is becoming critical.
We know you share our desire to assist the many Americans impacted by this shortage and understand the need to act rapidly to ensure this situation is remedied as quickly as possible. Thank you for your continued attention to this matter. We look forward to your reply.
Rep. Jackie Walorski
Sen. Dan Coats
Rep. Susan W. Brooks
Rep. Larry Bucshon, M.D.
Rep. Luke Messer
Rep. Todd Rokita
Rep. Marlin Stutzman
Rep. Todd Young