Posted at 2:30 p.m. on October 30, 2019 The Brillion News MADISON – Governor Tony Evers on Wednesday, October 30, declared a statewide energy emergency, one that primarily affects farmers and rural residents. “Due to unforeseen circumstances, including a late corn harvest and sudden cold snap, demand for propane has sharply increased across Wisconsin and the Midwest,” a statement from the governor’s office said. An executive order issued by the governor allows for more timely delivery of petroleum products across the state. Propane is in demand because corn producers want it to dry newly-harvested corn. It is also in high demand because temperatures dropped, increasing the demand for propane for home heating and cooking. The executive order essentially waives restrictions on the time propane truck drivers can be behind the wheel. The order notes the following problems: The state’s corn harvest is over two weeks behind schedule because of late planting and wet weather, increasing the need to dry corn now. The ONEOK propane pipeline is experiencing outages and is two weeks behind delivering propane to Iowa, Illinois and Minnesota. There is a shortage of propane in Wisconsin because of the shortage of the fuel in Iowa, Illinois and Minnesota. The emergency order is valid for 30 days from its issuance on October 30. All over-the-road drivers are exempt from driving hour restrictions – but carriers cannot force drivers to operate. “A driver who notifies a motor carrier that he or she needs immediate rest shall be given at least 10 consecutive hours off-duty before the driver may be required to return to service,” the order said. No other motor carrier laws are waived – just the hourly driving limits.
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