AUGUSTA – Rep. Jess Fay, D-Raymond, will be the lead co-sponsor of a bill filed by Sen. Bill Diamond, D-Windham, to facilitate the delivery of propane to keep Mainers warm in declared heating emergencies.
The bill responds to current widespread delays in fuel delivery by allowing propane delivery drivers to fill tanks owned by different companies. The law now states that tanks may be filled only by the company that owns them. This bill waives that requirement, provided both companies involved have an agreement and that an emergency has been declared, as has been the case recently due to abnormally cold temperatures throughout the state.
“It is entirely unacceptable that some Mainers are going without heat in this bitter cold,” said Sen. Diamond. “This bill applies common sense to the situation and allows propane companies to fill tanks that may belong to another company. My view is, if the product is available, there should be no barriers keeping it from being delivered.”
“I have heard from a significant number of folks and want to use the tools I have as a legislator to try to connect people with resources and give them a way to get their fuel in a timely manner,” said Rep. Jessica Fay, D-Casco, who supports the legislation and introduced her own similar bill to help Mainers access propane. “It is upsetting to me to hear from so many constituents about this issue, and it is heartening that Sen. Diamond and I are thinking along the same lines.”
As the statutory cutoff date for introducing bills has passed, this bill must be approved by a majority of the Legislative Council, the ten members of leadership in the Legislature. Bipartisan support is required for any bill to be accepted.