For more information contact: Chad Urdahl 651-296-5520
ST. PAUL – Rep. Jeff Howe, R-Rockville, is applauding efforts aimed at keeping propane supplies moving to the point of demand for home heating and grain drying this fall.
Howe and fellow members of the GOP Rural Caucus on Wednesday co-signed a letter to Gov. Mark Dayton, requesting that he issue an executive order temporarily waiving hours of service regulations for transporters of propane and anhydrous ammonia.
The governor followed by issuing Emergency Executive Order 17-11 late Wednesday evening, easing regulations on hours of service “for motor carriers and drivers providing direct assistance in emergency relief efforts.” According to a press release from the governor’s office, the Executive Order “will help ensure farmers have access to the diesel fuel and propane they need to dry late-harvested crops.”
The governor issued a similar order in 2013, when late-maturing crops and other factors teamed to choke the propane supply chain that fall.
“Much of the corn is still in the fields and farmers will be using large amounts of propane to dry their crops,” Howe said. “And the arrival of the heating season means many households are now relying on propane to stay warm. I’m glad the governor signed this executive order to help us get ahead of the game. This will help us avoid encountering the problems we faced in 2013 when access to propane was tight.”
While this year’s situation is not yet as dire as 2013’s, reports have indicated shortages in surrounding states are causing dealers to turn to Minnesota for supplies, straining our state’s resources. Haulers have had to wait in line for up to six hours to load their trucks, time which cuts into their allotted hours of service behind the wheel.
The Executive Order remains in effect for 30 days, or “until the commercial motor carrier or drivers ceases direct assistance in providing energy relief, whichever occurs first,” and may be extended in the future.
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