UPDATE: Governor Bentley Declares State of Emergency Over Propane Shortage

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – At a press conference in Huntsville on Thursday, Governor Bentley said he has declared a state of emergency over statewide propane shortage.

Read Governor Bentley’s State of Emergency Proclamation by clicking here.

The emergency declaration 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.

Bentley says he will keep it in place as long as necessary.

Locally, that shortage is making some school boards find another route to heat schools.

The DeKalb County Board of Education received a letter from its propane supplier, UPG Gas, on Wednesday stating that due to widespread supply and distribution problems affecting the entire propane industry, they had no choice but to declare what they called a force majeure.

Essentially, what the two paragraphed letter said was DeKalb County Schools, along with other commercial customers, wouldn’t be getting gas from the company for at least two weeks.

That company is one of the largest in suppliers in the state, and while there isn’t a shortage of propane, there is a shortage of means of distribution to get it to the customers.

However, UPG Gas is allowing Dekalb County Schools out of their contract, in order to find another provider.

School board officials say in the meantime they have been able to reach out to other gas companies and fill the demand that way, but this change is going to cost them more money that will come out of projects like construction.

On Wednesday, WHNT reported about Tennessee Valley poultry growers who are worried the propane shortage will leave them unable to keep their chicken houses warm.

One DeKalb County farmer told WHNT if he doesn’t get the propane needed to keep his chickens alive, he will lose $45,000.

On the other side of the Sand Mountain area Marshall County EMA is working to find out if the levels of propane gas in that county are enough for the demand. “We’ve contacted our USDA representative who is in contact with our poultry growers,” says Marshall County EMA director Anita McBurnett, “Since they use primarily propane in maintaining their poultry houses and right now there are no issues there.”

McBurnett says that seems to be true for all of Marshall County by Friday afternoon. “We’ve contacted our propane suppliers in Marshall county and all are at a green status.”

She says EMA crews will continue to monitor the situation.


  • Wake Up

    So, this is a state of emergency, but the fact that one-third of non elderly Alabamians are uninsured is not a state of emergency? Also, nearly one-third of Alabamians under the age of 65 did not have health insurance at some point during the last two years, with more than 75 percent of them going without insurance for more than six months.

  • T_Bird

    Insurance isn’t a right as those tards up in Washington thinks, but if they want to make it a right then add a amendment to the Constitution making it so and there wouldn’t be a problem. As for the lpg problem yea it is a emergency as heat is needed far more then making everyone get insurance.

  • Judy Mccullar

    Wake Up….after m husband passed away i went 23 yrs without ins. That is a personal problem..not the government’s problem. Each person is responible for themself

    • Kulade

      Umhmm. onebigoldadgumshametheydoneletthepropanegetlowknowingtheresabigoldadgumwinterstormcomingin. Dadgumshame.

  • ns

    do you here yourselves?? if having insurance was the only problem this country had to worry about we would not
    have any problems…come on people…some Alabamians dont have enough to eat each day nor heat for that matter and your talking about ins…jeez

  • stephen1936

    The gov. can not trust the co. to store enough propane , fuel oil, wheat, corn and other foods. The co. running just in storage do not plan good enough for disaster. The co. continued exporting even after they were told that there might be a shortage. The same thing happen in Ireland in 1845 and 1846. Many people starved when people could not pay as much as export. In Canada many low income households with kids have been without propane for 3 weeks and have broken water pipes These are the working poor and owners of very small business. In Canada the hospitals luckly are paid for with tax $ so their kids are getting treatment for being sick or the kids would be drying The cost of insurance is so high in On.many trucks were not plated

  • SN

    What I want to know is who in their RIGHT mind would use the word “tard” to refer to another? Whether you agree or disagree with their comment, that choice of wording is unacceptable. It infuriates me, as a person who has worked with retarded citizens, as well as share a family with some, that ignorance would play such a part in society. It is not right to call others names, but if you MUST, then PLEASE watch what you say.
    Now regarding the conversation, all I know is I was locked into a company (which is why I chose to go with this particular company), at 1.49 a gallon, now they are saying my gas is 3.99 a gallon. I just don’t see this as moral.

  • stephen1936

    In Canada many people have not had propane since Dec. gave broken water pipes and many lower income households have had to take sick kids to hospital. The cost to the on. gov. is a lot of money, but that is better than having the kids die. In Canada too much propane was exported, even after the propane industry knew there was a shortage

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