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 FrankenFCC privacy rules veer off course in eleventh hour White House contest casts shadow over mega-deal Obama takes aim at workers’ non-compete agreements MORE (D-Minn.), Rob PortmanRob PortmanFive takeaways from Florida Senate debate Endangered GOP senator: I don't know for whom I'll vote GOP vulnerables dial back Hillary attacks MORE (R-Ohio) and Tammy BaldwinTammy BaldwinGreat Lakes senators seek boost for maritime system Why Congress needs an openly atheist member, now Podesta floated Bill Gates, Bloomberg as possible Clinton VPs 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.