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Feds order more propane shipments to Midwest, Northeast

WASHINGTON D.C. (WTAQ) - More propane fuel is being shipped to the Midwest and the Northeast, where a shortage has driven up prices dramatically over the past month.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ordered a pipeline company to give temporary priorities to fuel shipments originating in Mont Belvieu Texas. The order comes under the Interstate Commerce Act, and it's the first time the FERC told a pipeline operator to resolve an official "emergency requiring immediate action."

The agency's acting chairwoman, Cheryl LaFleur, said Washington is well aware of what the bitter cold weather has done to propane customers.

Shortages have affected two dozen states, including Wisconsin. The federal agency said its action was spurred in part by a request for action from seven Upper Midwest governors last week, including Wisconsin's Scott Walker.

Federal officials said the propane price went down last week in the Badger State -- but it was still the second-highest on record at $3.94 a gallon. The government's special shipment order continues until the first week in March, or until the supply shortages have eased.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)