FERC OKs Propane Delivery 11/20 11:13
Federal Agency to Allow Deliveries From Texas to Illinois for 30 Days
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Tuesday announced actions aimed
at alleviating propane supply issues in the Midwest.
By Todd Neeley
DTN Staff Reporter
OMAHA (DTN) -- The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Tuesday took
action to help alleviate propane shortages in Midwestern states, as farmers in
areas of the Corn Belt struggle to find enough propane to complete harvest.
Lack of propane has forced some operations to shut down harvest.
The commission approved a proposal by Enterprise TE Products Pipeline
Company LLC to provide emergency propane supplies to areas of need, according
to a news release, while also starting a process to engage pipeline companies
and shippers to find additional ways to alleviate supply issues.
According to a document from FERC, Enterprise TE Products Pipeline Company
LLC offered to provide emergency transportation of propane from Mont Belvieu,
Texas, to Monee, Illinois. The company will be allowed to make emergency
deliveries until Dec. 13.
"Enterprise TE states that record demand for propane is due to an unusual
coincident increase in heating demand, resulting from unseasonably cold weather
in the region, and crop-drying demand," according to FERC.
"Enterprise states that the adjustment to accommodate propane service is
likely to create operational and scheduling issues and therefore cannot be
sustained for a prolonged period of time."
Farmers in some regions of the Midwest have had to stop harvest operations
as propane suppliers were unable to meet demands for grain drying.
Farmers across the Corn Belt are running into supply bottlenecks at a time
when they can ill afford to wait. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety
Administration declared a regional emergency in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas,
Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
In recent weeks, governors in Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin issued
emergency declarations to lift restrictions on carriers for the transportation
of heating fuel, including propane. This is expected to help alleviate supply
issues in the region.
"The commission takes this issue seriously," FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee
said in a news release.
"We have been actively engaging with stakeholders, and with Capitol Hill and
the states, and receiving regular updates from pipeline companies. By bringing
the pipelines and shippers to the table, we are building on these efforts and
establishing a dialogue focused on exploring concrete solutions."
At the end of last week, Iowa Republican Sens. Charles Grassley and Joni
Ernst wrote a letter to Chatterjee asking for the commission to take actions to
secure supplies in the Midwest.
"We understand that the nationwide supply of propane is adequate but it is
not in Iowa," the letter said.
"Our offices have received numerous calls and reports of farmers forced to
leave high-moisture corn in the field covered with snow, and livestock and
poultry producers are concerned about supply with the winter months ahead."
Todd Neeley can be reached at email@example.com
Follow him on Twitter at @toddneeleyDTN
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