U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) today introduced a bill to provide for more accurate monitoring and reporting of national propane stocks, reinforcing an existing Thune-Klobuchar law that provides for emergency action in the event of dangerous heating fuel shortages. Their new bill (S. 1972) would require the Energy Information Administration (EIA) to include propane export volumes in the data it publishes relating to U.S. propane inventories, an important change that would address continued growth in propane exports.
“As winter approaches, it’s always important to take every necessary precaution to prepare for the possibility of drastically low temperatures,” said Thune. “By altering the Energy Information Administration’s reporting and forecasting to include the significant impact of exports in its data, we will be able to improve fuel inventory forecasting to better ensure fuel shortages are quickly and efficiently addressed so home heating is not at risk during extreme cold.”
“As temperatures begin to drop and propane prices rise, red tape shouldn’t limit a family’s ability to keep their homes warm,” said Klobuchar. “Our bipartisan bill would help governors act quickly to address propane and fuel shortages and ensure that every family has access to heat this winter.”
Currently, the Thune-Klobuchar Reliable Home Heating Act, which became law in 2014, grants governors the authority to provide relief from motor carrier rules in the event of a declared emergency. The law requires the EIA to provide early warnings to governors if the inventory of residential heating fuel (propane, natural gas, and home heating oil) falls below the most recent five-year average for more than three consecutive weeks. The proposed modification would alter EIA reporting and forecasting to include export data.