UP Energy Task Force seeks public comment on future of propane

Published: Apr. 1, 2020 at 4:26 PM EDT
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Governor Gretchen Whitmer is looking for your input on ways to improve Michigan’s propane supply and distribution network.

Jenn Hill, founding board member of the Citizens Utility Board of Michigan says the more planning we can do an advance, the better off we are.

"We're looking particularly to propane users and the folks that are using it as their primary source but also a lot of folks that have camps," Hill announced.

Public comment is open, now through the close of business, Monday, April 6 on draft recommendations surrounding Michigan's propane availability and service.

Hill says recommendations generally fall into four separate categories.

"There's increasing consumer protection, so that price-gouging can't happen. There's improving price transparency. There’s helping low income folks to have a better way to access the system, including improving the energy efficiency of where they live so they don't have to buy so much propane," Hill stated.

The number one recommendation is to expand and improve propane storage capacity locally, according to Hill.

“Because if we have it already here on site we're less likely to have price spikes because people will already have it in tanks here,” Hill reasoned.

This survey also works with private propane suppliers to predict the cause of future outages and minimize their effects including finding alternatives to Line 5 and Line 1.

"Shipping propane by railcar to Escanaba would cost approximately the same," Hill shared.

Hill says an industry analyst used a series complex calculations to make this finding.

"There's a 100 page report that goes with this. But the good news is that we do have other options that could bring propane to the U.P. if something should happen to the pipeline system," Hill asserted.

50 or more public comments have already been submitted according to Hill.

to learn more and to submit your public comment.

All comments will be shared with

members for possible inclusion into the final report, which is due to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer by April 17.