No Shortage Of Propane-Driver Shortage Led To Walker Order

Jan 2, 2018

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It's been cold for an extended period, but both the state and a trade group say there is no shortage of propane for heating. The problem has been getting it to your furnace.

Governor Walker declared a State of Emergency last week making it easier for propane supply trucks to haul. The order exempts drivers in the process of obtaining or transporting propane from certain requirements limiting how long they can be on the road.

Brandon Scholz of the Wisconsin Propane Gas Association says this situation is NOT like the Polar Vortex winter of 2013-14 when there was a short supply of propane due to farming needs in the fall and an early winter. This year, finding enough available drivers has been the problem...

"...that's been the problem. Having the logistical problem of not having enough drivers out there to be able to run enough transports. To be able to pick up the propane, bring it back and get it into the system...."

Scholz says Governor Walker's  Order was a wake up call to propane users...

"...it should make people think, it should make sure people go out and make sure they check their tank levels, make sure they're in contact with their dealer and make sure they're set for their next delivery...."

Megan Levy is the local energy programs manager for the state Office of Energy Innovation. She says some terminals which supply local businesses have limited the amount of propane largely due to driver requirements...

"...we have some terminals in the state that are on 'allocation' which means they have product but they're trying to make it last. They're giving different propane suppliers a limited amount. It's important to keep track of the percentage in your tank, but there is propane coming into the state. We're supplied by a couple of different pipelines and there are no real shortages there. We just don't have enough drivers...."

She says the suppliers are being cautious until the driver requirement problems have gone away.

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