Federal Government invokes Emergency Powers for..Propane?

Yes, you all heard the title correctly and it’s descriptive to the story here. First, I’ll say that of all the causes I could imagine to overstep
federal authority in dictating down to the level of individual operations inside pipelines, this is probably the most noteworthy. In some ways, that
makes the need to see and stand up over it all the more important.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has used for the first time emergency powers it has under the Interstate Commerce Act to try to alleviate
a shortage of propane in the Midwest and Northeast, including Vermont.

It’s hard to say if these specific “Emergency Powers” are among the many we’ve debated and speculated over the use or abuse of in what has come over
the last 10+ years, or back to Eisenhower in terms of broad executive power for commanding private sector business. It seems likely though…

Mollie O’Dell, spokeswoman for the National Propane Gas Association, which asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to issue the emergency
order in early February, said the regulatory agency was responding to an unprecedented crisis in propane supply.

“A situation like this has not occurred in the 100-year history of the propane industry,” O’Dell

Now that last part, I will agree with. When this has settled, I would love to see some honest to goodness and sincere investigation done into just HOW
propane rose by 400-500% in costs over just a year’s time. Sure…it’s been a cold winter, and we’ve had dozens of cold winters before. Many, much
worse than this one for the region we’re talking about here.

It’s interesting too, that the Emergency Powers were invoked on the request of a private trade group. The whole thing is an area I’d sure like to know
more about for how it came to happen this way. Especially the “unprecedented” Emergency response being talked about here. Federal dictates of what
individual private pipes are carrying, on what schedule?

Wow… The future is here, and it’s a cold place where bureaucrats are making decisions across such a variety of industries they have no functional
working life experience in. What could ever go wrong?


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