Recent Press Releases

Washington, D.C. — 

Senator John Thune (R-S.D.), Ranking Member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, which oversees the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), today commended the agency’s decision to issue an Emergency Declaration for South Dakota and North Dakota due to propane shortages which have been magnified as a result of the extreme cold weather conditions in our region and other portions of the United States. On Friday, January 24, 2014, Senator Thune wrote FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro requesting the declaration. The FMCSA declaration, which builds on the exemption that Governor Daugaard issued earlier this month that applied only within South Dakota, will provide relief from existing hours of service limits for drivers for the interstate transport of propane and heating oil while still requiring drivers be fit to drive and operate safely. The Emergency Declaration will expire on February 11th or when the designation is no longer needed.

“Regional supply disruptions, high demand from a wet corn harvest, and the extreme cold temperatures this winter have strained propane and home heating oil supplies throughout the region,” said Thune. “I have been working with the FMCSA on ways to reduce the impact of this problem and appreciate their willingness to respond to this issue from a regional perspective. The brutally cold temperatures in South Dakota, and across the region, this winter are a challenge for families and businesses, and a tight propane market only increases the dangerous conditions residents are facing. I will continue working with all relevant federal agencies to address this ongoing situation.”