Washington, DC (March 13, 2014) – Today, the Senate unanimously approved H.R. 4076, a bill that extends hours of service waivers for propane deliveries through the end of May. First introduced by Congressman Bill Shuster (R-PA), the Home Heating Emergency Assistance Through Transportation Act of 2014, or HHEATT Act, passed unanimously in the House last week.
Gary France, Chairman of the National Propane Gas Association and owner of France Propane Service in Wisconsin, thanked the House and Senate for their swift action, “While it may feel like spring in some parts of the country, there are still regions with colder-than-normal temperatures and where demand for propane is high. This bill makes it easier for companies to get propane to the customers who need it most.”
H.R. 4076 extends any Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) hours of service exemption issued after February 5, 2014 related to the delivery of propane for home heating. This bill follows last week’s hearing in the House Energy and Power Subcommittee where recommendations for improving the fuel supply infrastructure in the United States were requested.
In his testimony before the Committee, Richard Roldan, President and CEO of the National Propane Gas Association, made several recommendations for what government can do to protect the consumers who rely on propane, including: a rigorous and formal review of federal propane export policies; a Federal Trade Commission investigation to ensure markets are performing properly; improving the timeliness and reliability of the Energy Information Administration’s inventory data; increasing transparency of petroleum products pipeline operations; applying affiliate rules to petroleum products pipelines; easing of the requirements needed for federal authorities to exercise emergency power during emergencies; and increasing storage infrastructure, such as the proposed Finger Lakes facility in New York State.
Roldan applauded Congress for taking immediate action to relieve the regulatory burden of hours of service rules. “Members of Congress recognized that right now the industry is focused on safely delivering propane to the homes that rely on it. Through their quick and bi-partisan action, Congress has ensured that these deliveries can continue unencumbered by these regulations. We urge the President to sign this bill into law as quickly as possible.”
The National Propane Gas Association is the national trade association of the propane industry. NPGA represents approximately 3,000 companies, including producers, wholesalers, transporters, and retailers of propane gas as well as the manufacturers and distributors of associated propane equipment and appliances. 50 million Americans choose propane as their energy source. Propane is a clean-burning, efficient and climate-friendly alternative fuel that is available now. For more information about NPGA and the propane gas industry, visit NPGA online at www.npga.org.