Hoeven Presses FERC to Increase Access to Propane

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today pressed the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to provide increased access to propane supplies given the needs in North Dakota and other Midwest states. In a letter to the FERC chairman, Hoeven urged the agency to utilize its authority to increase access to supplies and help minimize regional disruptions. 

“Propane is a vital resource needed to not only heat homes, but to ensure that producers are able to power their grain dryers and keep livestock warm,” said Hoeven. “Our farmers and ranchers are really up against it right now, which is why we are doing all we can to support them, including pressing FERC to provide increased access to propane to help minimize regional disruptions.” 

The text of the letter is below:

Dear Chairman Chatterjee:

I write on behalf of my constituents in North Dakota who face difficulties in accessing needed propane supplies.  As we approach the coldest parts of the winter season, I urge the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to ensure there is increased access to supplies of this critically needed resource, and to minimize any regional supply disruptions.  Thank you for your attention to this matter. 

As you may be aware, this season has been particularly wet for our agricultural producers, and late harvest has created increased demand for propane to dry wet grain.  In fact, 47 of the 53 counties in North Dakota recently received a Secretarial disaster declaration from U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue due to natural disasters, including extreme late-season rainfall and an early blizzard.  Record-breaking low temperatures have also driven up the use of propane for residential and commercial heating, and by ranchers needing to provide heat to livestock.  On November 2, 2019, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum issued Executive Order 2019-11, which noted the increased need for propane and declared a state of emergency, which will allow increased propane deliveries.

It is vital that regional supply disruptions do not occur over the winter months.  I appreciate the efforts of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in working with the state to assist in increasing the supply of propane through truck deliveries.  I urge FERC to take similar appropriate steps within its jurisdiction to ensure that there is not a shortage in states like North Dakota that are seeing an increased need for propane.

I look forward to working with you to ensure North Dakota has continued access to supplies of propane.  Please contact Eric Gustafson on my staff at eric_gustafson@hoeven.senate.gov with any questions.  Thank you for your attention to this critical issue.