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Cold Blast Threatens Propane Supply as Prices Skyrocket

propane tank

The recent brutal cold snaps across the upper midwest has threatened the supply of propane heating fuel and, as you may have noticed, the price of propane has skyrocketed.

The shortage has led to a state of emergency being declared in more than 30 states. Iowa’s governor, Terry Branstad wrote to the president before the State of the Union address citing, “Prices in some midwest locations have now exceeded $5 per gallon. Such prices are unsustainable for families, farmers and businesses.”

Yesterday, I spoke with Jennifer, a friend of mine who live on the east side of Sioux Falls. She and her family rely on propane for hot water and home heating. The outdoor propane  tank required a refill. To her and her husband’s astonishment, the cost to fill it ran about $2,000. She also added, that would cover about a months supply.

To add to the strain on the propane supply, a record corn crop that arrived late and wet weather led farmers to use more than four times the propane they used in 2012 to dry their corn.

With sub-zero temperatures blanketing the midwest again this week, the price of propane is quadrupled in some areas. One Union Grove, Mn. resident filled his 500 gallon propane tank last fall for $1.60 per gallon. Today’s refill will cost $4.60 per gallon.

Until the weather begins to warm up, no cost relief is in sight. And experts agree, the price of propane will continue to rise.


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