WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH) today introduced the Propane Supply and Security Act, legislation to prevent future propane shortages and coordinate response efforts during emergency situations. In light of what is expected to be another harsh winter, this legislation will address the root causes of the propane shortages experienced in Ohio and throughout the country last winter to ensure homeowners are not again adversely affected.
“Last winter, the lives and livelihoods of many Americans were threatened due to propane shortages across the country,” said Latta. “During extremely cold temperatures, access to heat is not a product of comfort, but rather a requirement for survival. The Propane Supply and Security Act addresses the causes of past propane shortages to ensure residents in Ohio’s Fifth Congressional District and throughout the United States have access to affordable propane when they need it.”
The Propane Supply and Security Act is companion to legislation sponsored by Senator Al Franken (D-MN), Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) and Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) bearing the same name. The legislation provides for enhanced tracking of propane supplies to better forecast potential shortages. It establishes the Secretary of Energy as the coordinator of federal and state emergency response efforts to ensure a coordinated response in the event of future shortages. It also clarifies that propane shipments can be prioritized in the event of an emergency consistent with current statutory authorities. Next, the legislation addresses propane costs by directing the Department of Commerce to more accurately calculate consumer propane prices. It also directs the Secretary of Energy to study the effectiveness and feasibility of increasing regional propane reserves to mitigate future supply shocks. Finally, the legislation expands the list of equipment covered under the USDA storage facility loan program to include propane tanks.