Latta Leads Letter to DOT Requesting Another Hours of Service Extension for Propane Delivery
Washington, March 18, 2014 | Sarah Criser (202-225-6405)
On Friday, Congressman Bob Latta (R-Bowling Green) led a letter with Speaker Boehner and the Republican members of the Ohio Congressional Delegation to U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Anthony Foxx, again requesting the agency extend the hours of service emergency exemption, which expired Saturday. This is the second letter Latta has led regarding the issue. A week after the first letter was sent, DOT granted the initial extension, which provided regulatory relief for commercial motor vehicles delivering propane to affected areas and consumers in Ohio and throughout the Midwest.
"We’ve experienced extremely cold temperatures this winter – the effects of which continue to jeopardize the lives and livelihoods of Ohioans,” said Latta. “My colleagues and I have already taken action to address this issue through legislation that passed both the House and Senate, but we must do everything we can to get our constituents the supplies they need to heat their homes and farming operations while the bill awaits action by the President. An extension of the emergency exemption will continue to allow propane to be delivered to those most in need as quickly as possible, and I urge the President to take swift action."
The letter notes that the U.S. House and Senate have passed H.R. 4076, the Home Heating Emergency Assistance Through Transportation (HHEATT) Act, which would remedy a lapse in the exemption until May. However, since the President could take a number of days or weeks to sign the legislation, the letter requests an interim hours-of-service exemption to provide certainty for suppliers and distributors transporting emergency loads of propane. Finally, the letter notes that the hours-of-service exemption has also proved beneficial and that the Republican members of Ohio’s Congressional Delegation stand ready to assist in any way needed to remedy the situation.
In addition to the two letters he led to DOT, Latta also led a bipartisan letter with Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and 33 other Members of Congress, to President Obama on February 17. The letter requested that the President declare a state of emergency for parts of the Midwest that are currently experiencing ongoing propane supply shortages, ultimately lifting weight limitations for vehicles carrying emergency propane supplies to these areas and allowing more propane to be delivered faster to those in need.