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WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

Federal Emergency Declaration Aims To Address Regional Propane Shortage

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UPDATE 11/22/19:

This week, following a bipartisan letter Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (IL-14) sent to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to address propane supply shortages, the FERC announced that farmers in the Midwest will receive temporary emergency shipments of propane.

According to a news release, in the letter sent on Thursday, Nov. 14, Underwood and 30 other bipartisan members of Congress highlighted the challenges farmers across the Midwest are facing while working to finish harvest and prepare grain for storage without an adequate supply of propane.

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin praised a decision by the Federal Emergency Regulatory Commission to allow emergency propane deliveries to the Midwest.  He said shipments to Illinois will assist “farmers struggling to dry wet crops. ” He added that this will help rural farms, businesses, and residents in an “endlessly challenging year.”

The federal government is acting to ease a shortage of propane in the Midwest. 

Illinois is one of seven states with a much greater demand for propane than is available.

Officials said colder temperatures that led to increased demand for the gas are partly to blame, particularly in rural areas. Illinois Director of Agriculture John  Sullivan said farmers use it both for heating and to reduce the moisture content of their corn.  

“It’s been a wet fall," he said, "and this grain is wet, and so it’s taken more energy to dry that crop down."

To address the shortage, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration passed a regional emergency declaration.It relaxes some of the rules on transporting propane so that it’s easier for drivers to transport the gas where it’s needed. 

Other states affected by the shortage include Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota, Kansas, and Nebraska.