National Propane Shortage Leads to Drastic Price Increase (VIDEO)

By Rachelle Spence - 21Alive

January 20, 2014 Updated Jan 20, 2014 at 8:10 PM EDT

Huntington County, Ind. (21Alive) - The harsh winter has many of us putting our furnace on full blast. It also means a supply and demand increase for propane.

As a result, those who use propane could see an all-time high price tag.

This rising cost comes from a national shortage of propane, but it's hitting the Midwest especially hard.

Government officials in Michigan and Ohio have already issued statewide energy emergencies. Suppliers in Indiana, also feel the hit.

"Normally, we would get four to five loads of gas a week on a semi. So now they're telling us we'll get one load a week. Possibly two loads a week," says owner of Bolinger's Propane Supply, Gina Canady.

Some companies aren't accepting new customers, some are out of propane altogether and others, just have to cut back.

Bolinger's is doing what they call a "short-fill." Customers received notice Monday that they can only receive 200 gallons of propane during this crisis.

According to Canady, propane was $2.00 a gallon this past summer. Now, the current rate is $3.10 per gallon.

For the average 500-gallon tank, that's over $1,500. Canady says that she has never seen prices this high and hopes to see change as warmer weather moves in.

Researchers say the Cochin pipeline, which traverses North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio had a major impact, as it was closed for maintenance in December.

According to Canady, this is a small contributing factor. Instead, she believes it's primarily a result of record low temperatures.

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