State Senator Phil Murphy urges Governor Dalrymple to take action to address propane shortage

State Senator Phil Murphy urges Governor Dalrymple to take action to address propane shortage

(PORTLAND, ND) – Stating that “lives and livelihoods are at stake this winter,” State Senator Phil Murphy (Portland) sent a letter today to Governor Jack Dalrymple requesting that he take immediate action to address the current propane shortage.

Senator Murphy asked Governor Dalrymple to take several steps, including launching an investigation to ensure that North Dakota’s propane market is dealing fairly with consumers, along with taking other steps similar to those being taken by Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker to help citizens deal with the shortage.

Senator Murphy released the following statement:

“I sent my letter to Governor Dalrymple today because the state government can take meaningful steps now to help citizens struggling through this crisis. Other states, with far fewer resources than ours, are taking action to help their citizens. State leaders, along with community leaders, and citizens need to come together to help our fellow North Dakotans struggling to stay warm this winter.”

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February 6, 2014

The Honorable Jack Dalrymple

Governor of North Dakota

600 East Boulevard Avenue

Bismarck, North Dakota

Dear Governor Dalrymple,

This letter is a request to take action concerning propane used for heating homes and businesses. We have a situation whereby some in the industry are stating that we do have a shortage in some areas, but also a newly formed glut in other regions. I have been told this has arisen because prices rose to a point where some who had been exporting relatively inexpensive propane recently saw an opportunity to sell it for much more money here in the United States. This exorbitant new market price has had the effect of vendors forestalling purchases whenever this relatively demand-inelastic commodity can be put off. However, there are often no ready substitutes for many home and business owners. This is especially true in rural areas of North Dakota where we are forced to pay this price which has been, in my view, artificially contrived by out-of-state interests. I ask you to launch an investigation to ensure that our markets will be honest in their dealings – we are not talking about a commodity whose purchase can be delayed indefinitely and is of a trivial nature. Lives and livelihoods are at stake this winter, now.

Would you institute a state-wide hot line whereby callers may be apprised as to availability of shelter if they can no longer afford or find propane for heating? Perhaps the Department of Commerce could utilize their Division of Community Service to further their stated goal of providing our people with efficient and effective administration of federal and state programs for energy efficiency, housing and self-sufficiency.

Would you please order the National Guard to aid people who are deprived in this situation so that their pipes are adequately drained when they evacuate and perhaps guide or transport those in need to an appropriate shelter?

Do you know or could you check to see if the Emergency Commission, which has the authority to transfer dollars from one fund to the other could somehow help? Perhaps LIHEAP funding could be enhanced and/or supplemented without a special session or a session could be called?

Would you co-sign the letter sent to President Obama by Gov. Scott Walker, Gov. Mark Dayton and other Midwest governors who on Feb. 4 implored him and pertinent agencies to do all they could to help the propane flow as freely as possible? Governor, many in North Dakota cannot wait until spring.

Thank you for your consideration.


Phil Murphy, Senator, District 20

The post State Senator Phil Murphy urges Governor Dalrymple to take action to address propane shortage appeared first on North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party.

From: Dem-NPL News

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