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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 

   Follow him on Twitter at @toddneeleyDTN


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