By Timothy Cama - 07/31/14 06:14 PM EDT
Three Midwestern senators introduced a bill Thursday aimed at preparing for and mitigating propane shortages like the one that hit their region this past winter.
Sens. Al FrankenAl FrankenDems slam Yahoo CEO over delay in acknowledging hack Senators challenge status quo on Saudi arms sales Overnight Defense: Senate rejects effort to block Saudi arms sale | ISIS may have fired chemical agent in Iraq | Trump, Gary Johnson tied among military voters MORE (D-Minn.), Rob PortmanRob PortmanDems kill more ads in Ohio Senate rivals gear up for debates Funding bill includes million for opioid crisis MORE (R-Ohio) and Tammy BaldwinTammy BaldwinOvernight Defense: US attempted hostage rescue in Afghanistan | Defense hawks brace for spending fight | Trump slams 'lies' about Iraq war stance Senators want military separation policy to address trauma-related behavior Community development can help close the opportunity divide MORE (D-Wis.) said their bill would improve propane supply and pricing information, better coordinate shortage responses, study whether propane reserves should be established and help farmers get propane storage tanks.
“Last winter’s propane shortage caused a tremendous burden for the Ohioans who rely on propane to heat their homes and Ohio livestock operations,” Portman said. “To be better prepared in the future, we must move quickly to enact this bipartisan legislation to help prevent and better manage shortages.”
The bill follows a hearing the senators led in May, at which lawmakers, Obama administration officials and the private sector focused on data and supply issues in trying to determine what caused the shortage and how it could have been prevented.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Franken agreed at the hearing that better data, especially from the Energy Information Administration, could have predicted the problems that led to the shortage and allowed the government and private sector to prepare for it.