FERC Takes Action After Cleaver & Colleagues Call for Continued Supply of Propane to the Midwest

Nov 20, 2019
Press Release

On Thursday, November 14th, U.S. Representative Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-MO) sent a letter – along with a bipartisan group of Members of Congress – to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) with an urgent call to address the unsustainable levels of limited propane supplies across the Midwest. It is critical to ensure a continued supply of propane to the region as cold temperatures and snow are in the forecast and farmers face one of the most challenging harvest seasons in years. The region is experiencing record demand for propane resulting from unseasonably cold weather combined with crop drying demands. Those farmers fortunate enough to have a harvest this year are now struggling with drying a wet corn crop.  Wet corn put in storage can start to spoil in as little as three days, and two gallons of propane are typically needed to dry 100 bushels of corn.

As a result of this and other stakeholders’ calls for action, today the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved temporary emergency shipments of propane to help alleviate the shortage across the Midwest. The agency approved the Enterprise TE Products Pipeline Company to ship propane from Mont Belvieu, Texas, to Monee, Ill., for a period of 30 days.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) also announced it will initiate an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process with pipeline companies, shippers and their representatives to explore actions FERC and industry can take to alleviate propane pipeline constraints in the Midwest.

Our goal is to avoid a devastating situation for our farmers at a time when they are being hit from all sides. Winter is here and this is the last thing they need. I am pleased to see the commission respond with the level of urgency that is required, but we will continue to seek substantial solutions to this problem,” said Congressman Cleaver.

The Midwestern and Western Service Centers of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) have also issued an emergency declaration for a limited number of States within the two FMCSA regions. The Emergency Declaration provides regulatory relief for commercial motor vehicle operations that provide direct assistance in transporting heating fuel, including propane, and applies to the delivery of supply to the States of:

-           Illinois

-           Iowa

-           Kansas

-           Minnesota

-           Missouri

-           Nebraska

-           South Dakota

-           Wisconsin

Emanuel Cleaver, II is the U.S. Representative for Missouri's Fifth Congressional District, which includes Kansas City, Independence, Lee's Summit, Raytown, Grandview, Sugar Creek, Blue Springs, Grain Valley, Oak Grove, North Kansas City, Gladstone, Claycomo, and all of Ray, Lafayette, and Saline Counties. He is a member of the exclusive House Financial Services Committee; Chairman of the House Subcommittee on National Security, International Development, and Monetary Policy; member of the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress; member of the Committee on Homeland Security; and a Senior Whip of the Democratic Caucus. For more information, please contact Juan Ramiro Sarmiento at 816-842-4545 or Ramiro.Sarmiento@mail.house.gov