January 31

On Tuesday, I filed a complaint in Franklin Circuit Court against Kentucky propane provider United Propane Gas, Inc. (UPG) for its alleged violations of the state's Consumer Protection Act. The complaint follows many phone calls to my office from farmers and residential UPG customers in Western Kentucky who, during the recent frigid weather conditions that our state has experienced, were exhausting their propane supplies. The customers became frustrated when they couldn't reach a UPG representative by phone or secure a waiver from the company, as Kentucky law requires, to get more propane from another supplier.

My office worked with UPG to obtain a blanket waiver for its customers; however, when that waiver expired early Tuesday morning, UPG refused to extend it through early February despite our demands to do so considering the frigid temperatures and the company's lack of supply. Therefore, along with our complaint against UPG, we asked for, and were granted, a court order allowing customers of UPG and its 23 subsidiaries to secure propane from another supplier without a waiver until Feb. 3.

While there has been a propane shortage nationwide, companies still have a responsibility to take care of their customers who need access to propane to heat their homes and run their businesses. Most companies in Kentucky, despite shortages, are working with customers to make partial deliveries or provide waivers. Unfortunately, this has not been the case for UPG.

Customers who are unable to reach their supplier, obtain a release or obtain supply from another supplier should contact my office at rateintervention@ag.ky.gov or call the Propane Supply Complaint Hotline at 1-866-592-2556.

The Capitol has been bustling this week with a number of school groups from across Kentucky interested in learning more about the inner workings of state government. I had the wonderful opportunity to meet with students from Highlands Latin School on Wednesday. I also had a great discussion with a bright group of students from the University of Louisville Student Government's Cards in Action program about the importance of advocacy and higher education. I always enjoy meeting with young people who are passionate about education and public service. Pictures from both visits can be found on my Facebook page here.

On Tuesday morning, I’ll be catching up with my radio friends at WLGC in Ashland, WBVR in Bowling Green, and WTTL in Madisonville. I hope you’ll tune in if you’re in those areas.

Finally, please join Elizabeth and me in keeping the families of the nine victims who died in the horrific house fire in Muhlenberg County on Thursday in your thoughts and prayers. This tragedy took the lives of a mother and her eight young children, and it's important to remember their loved ones and community during this difficult time.