Hoeven, Klobuchar Bipartisan Legislation to Help Communities Impacted by Propane Shortage Passes Congress

Legislation Will Deliver Much-Needed Certainty to Homeowners and Businesses Throughout the Region That Rely on Propane Heating

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators John Hoeven (R-ND), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Al Franken (D-MN), and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) today announced that their legislation to make it easier to transport propane to communities impacted by the ongoing propane shortage has passed the Senate and now heads to the President’s desk to be signed into law.

The bipartisan bill will extend the hours-of-service exemption until May 31st, allowing truck drivers to work more hours to help safely transport propane to regions impacted by the shortage. The legislation will deliver much-needed certainty to hundreds of thousands of households throughout the region that rely on propane as their main source of heat during the winter. The bill is a companion to legislation cosponsored by Minnesota Representatives John Kline, Erik Paulsen, Tim Walz, and Rick Nolan that recently passed the U.S. House of Representatives.

“Families and businesses have been especially hard hit throughout our state and region by this season’s long, cold winter,” Hoeven said. “Passage of our bill will now give residents and businesses the certainty of knowing they will have enough propane to heat their homes and businesses till the end of this heating season, and the industry will be able to stock propane supplies for next year, as well.”

“Low propane supplies and sky-high prices have put a significant strain on families and businesses in Minnesota during the frigid winter months,” Klobuchar said. “This common sense bill will help rush propane supplies to those who need it most, and I urge the President to quickly sign it into law.”

“This year’s propane shortage has caused hardship for thousands of families, businesses, and farmers across Minnesota who rely on the fuel,” Franken said. “This bill will mean truckers can deliver more propane to the areas still running low on the fuel. I’m glad we were able to get this passed quickly and I hope the President signs it into law without delay.” 

“I am proud to have worked across party lines to advance this bipartisan action on behalf of Wisconsin,” Senator Baldwin said. “This legislation provides relief and certainty to the nearly 250,000 residents and countless businesses throughout Wisconsin who have weathered a severe propane crisis this winter. It is now my hope that President Obama will quickly sign this common sense, bipartisan measure into law.”

Earlier this year, Hoeven, pressed the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to waive hours of service for the Western Service Center, which includes North Dakota. The waiver was approved in January.