On heels of bipartisan Bennet letter, Energy Commission acts to alleviate propane shortages

CO propane prices have roughly doubled in past month

Following on the heels of a bipartisan letter signed by Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, along with 25 other Senators, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has invoked its emergency authority under the Interstate Commerce Act to help alleviate an acute propane shortage in the Midwest and Northeast.

The Commission’s order directs Enterprise TE Products Pipeline Co. to prioritize propane shipments from Mont Belvieu, Texas  to the Midwest and Northeast in order to help manage shortages.

“We’re mindful of the emergency situation that has developed in parts of the country where bitter cold weather has created problems for consumers who need supplies of propane,” Acting FERC Chairman Cheryl LaFleur said. “The problem is acute enough that we feel it is important for us to take this step.”

“Colorado businesses and families are facing an unprecedented shortage of propane, which is driving prices up to record levels,” Bennet said. “We’re glad FERC is taking action to provide some much-needed relief for our state.”

The Commission’s order cites “information written in letters by Governors, Senators, and members of Congress outlining the emergencies occurring in their respective states” as one of the reasons for taking action. On Friday, Bennet and 25 other Senators sent a letter to the Administration urging it to work with federal agencies to provide relief from the propane shortages.

This marks the first time FERC has used its emergency authority under the Interstate Commerce Act.