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Update – Propane energy emergency

Governor Rick Snyder says the propane shortage in Michigan has “eased slightly,” however supplies remain tight, and the state is working to alleviate the supply problem which has surfaced with the recent arctic cold snap that has hit the state. The governor says he’s directed state agencies to reach out to consumers affected by the shortage, by offering assistance and available resources until propane levels are restored. Michigan is one of more than 30 states to declare a propane energy emergency, and Snyder says he is extending an exemption for motor carriers and drivers transporting propane and heating oil within Michigan from hours-of-service regulations and requirements until Feb. 11. The governor issued similar executive orders in December and early January to help service residents with available supply as quickly as possible. The governor says he will also request assistance from the U.S. Department of Transportation for coordination of weight restriction exemptions between states during the shortage to insure that interstate transport of propane is not unnecessarily impeded and to continue to extend the waiver of the Hours of Service for truck drivers hauling propane. Record low temperatures, heavy snowfall and poor driving conditions, combined with pipeline issues and other factors have all contributed to Michigan’s propane shortage. Supplies in the Upper Peninsula have improved slightly as a facility in Rapid River went back online after supplies from Wisconsin were halted for new pump installation. However, propane inventories in the region are down 46 percent from last year’s levels, and are expected to remain tight, according to Governor Snyder.  (MRN)