PROPANE CRISIS: Could Run Out In ‘Mid-February’

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Iowa is already seeing record high propane prices. Now one expert says, the state could run out of the gas by mid-February.

State legislators heard from industry experts Monday. They described what they're calling the "Perfect storm" which led to a shortage of propane in the Midwest driving up costs to $5 a gallon in some areas.

The experts blame an increase in propane usage for drying grain along with an unusually cold winter for the shortage. And at this rate, they say, stored propane could run out.

"Last week there was a 1.2 million barrel draw in the Midwest inventory," said Jeff LaPan with CHS Propane.

"The week prior was a million six. So if we have somewhere around five million, lets say that leaves us five million left. At that pace we could potentially run out of propane in the caverns sometime in mid-February."

Experts are asking propane users to lower the temperatures in their homes. Lawmakers, meanwhile, are drawing up legislation to free up $1-million for low income propane users to buy more gas.


  • John

    The propane “experts” quoted in this story failed to mention that over 20% of the propane produced in the United States in 2013 was EXPORTED!

    • todddidit

      Propane – like everything else – will go where the most profit can be made. Just as you would not walk around handing out your life savings, the suppliers are not going to sell it for $X when they can get $X2 elsewhere. If the domestic price goes high enough, we may see some of that expat propane come back!

  • Troy Hendrickson

    It also fails to mention that none of what Branstad is asking will serve much purpose other than to let producers and sellers profit even more from the high prices while doing to little to lower the price.

  • Carolyn Erickson

    For several years now when costs were rising I set my thermostat at 58 degrees when away and 62 when home. I layer like they do in Europe where they have cold homes.

  • Verla Neifert

    I’ve read that a key MN pipeline, which supplied 40% of our propane, has closed,(not just been interrupted) and it won’t be reopening. They’re going to use it to haul light petroleum.

  • Krys White

    So what are the people supposed to do that live in campers 365 days a year? I am sure they don’t use much but need it to heat the camper during the winter months

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