Gov. Jack Dalrymple on January 7, 2014 declared an emergency due to short fuel supplies, including propane used for heating. In the declaration, Dalrymple waived hours of service for drivers of commercial vehicles who transport needed fuel, including propane, for retail distribution.
"A shortage of propane and recent price spikes are creating a serious hardship on North Dakota residents when they need reliable supplies the most," Dalrymple said. "Three weeks ago, I approved a waiver of service hours to help get more propane into our local supply chain."
Because of short propane supplies, haulers are waiting longer to load at terminals and are driving farther, as far as Texas, to obtain propane. Dalrymple's waiver of service hours is helping to expedite the delivery of needed propane and No. 1 diesel fuel by giving commercial drivers additional time to load, transport and make deliveries.
Dalrymple's order applies only to drivers who are transporting propane and No. 1 diesel fuel to retail sites, and does not apply to deliveries for on-premises use. The governor's order can be found at: http://governor.nd.gov/media-center/executive-order/dalrymple-waives-hours-service-vehicles-hauling-fuels
The North Dakota Department of Human Services administrates the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) which provides funding assistance to help qualified residents pay for home heating costs during the winter. The program could be particularly valuable to qualified residents this winter due to recent spikes in the cost of propane. LIHEAP also provides other assistance, including funds to help pay for repairs or the replacement of a furnace.
Residents with incomes up to 60 percent of the state's median income are eligible for the assistance. Qualifying income varies by household size. Residents eligible for LIHEAP will pay between 1 percent and 3 percent of the monthly cost for heating, with the program picking up the remaining cost. The percentage is based on household annual income. North Dakota does not cap monthly LIHEAP benefits.