Propane supplies OK here, despite ‘emergency’

Published 1:29 am Saturday, January 25, 2014

It’s business as usual for local propane companies, despite Gov. Robert Bentley’s declaration of a state of emergency due to the threat of a propane shortage.

Bentley issued the declaration because of the extreme winter weather in Alabama.

“With life threatening cold temperatures expected once again, it is important for Alabamians to have the necessary heating resources available for survival,” Bentley said. “This State of Emergency will help Alabamians have an uninterrupted supply of propane gas and other home heating fuels during this period of winter weather.”

Those at Casey Propane said customers will not have a problem getting propane if there is a need.

“It hasn’t hit us,” Chad McCory of Casey Propane said. “I’ve been on the phone with the gas associations and our sellers. No problems, they say. We do ask that customers watch their gauges and order gas when their level is at 20 percent. Then, it will give us time to get out to them without them running out of gas.”

McCory said propane prices have increased 80 cents since Monday.

“And we’re running 15-hour days right now to keep up with the demand,” he said. “The price floats with the market. That’s all we can do.”

The emergency declaration also enables the governor to invoke various emergency preparedness measures, including Alabama’s price gouging law. It will also suspend the rules and regulations regarding the purchase and sale of propane gas directed by the propane gas industry, and allow propane tank owners to purchase propane from any company that sells it.

To help with the supply and demand of propane gas, the State of Emergency will lift the federal transportation motor carrier laws and allow greater flexibility in the delivery to homes, schools and businesses.