Minnesota House OKs energy bill, including propane provisionsPublished 9:42am Wednesday, April 23, 2014
By Doug Belden
ST. PAUL — The Minnesota House passed an omnibus energy bill Tuesday that includes various protections for propane consumers and authorizes a study of converting propane users to other forms of energy.
The House’s first act this session was to approve $20 million in aid to assist propane users affected by a shortage and related price spike. At the time, lawmakers talked about additional legislation to address some of the systemic issues contributing to the crisis.
The House bill doesn’t attempt significant alterations to the propane supply and distribution system.
It calls for a study on the feasibility of converting nonmetropolitan propane users to alternative sources of energy, including natural gas as well as renewable technologies. It calls for an analysis of what effect increased weatherization efforts could have.
It also calls for transparency, equity and nondiscrimination with respect to propane prices, budget payment plans and purchase contracts and requires the industry to notify state officials of shortages.
An omnibus energy bill has not yet been taken up on the Senate floor, but various related provisions have been moving through committees.