Propane Prices on the Rise - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Propane Prices on the Rise

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If you heat your home or business with propane, you may run into some problems this winter. That's because the supply is low and the demand is high.

Experts say that this propane shortage is the worst that they have seen in years.

As long as it's cold, people will crank up the heat. But that is causing problems for those who need propane.

"We need a shot of warm weather to kind of catch up a little bit and no one knows when that's going to happen except for mother nature. So we're at the mercy of mother nature at this point in time," says Mike Rud, Petroleum Marketers Association.

But the problem didn't start with the cold weather. There was already less propane going into the winter season.

"The upper Midwest had a really big corn drying season. We had seven states taking corn off the field at the same time. As a result we had seven states looking for propane to dry that corn at the same time as well," says Rud.

Adding to the crunch is the fact that more propane is being exported OUT of the country than ever before.

"You hear a lot about the free market. Well this is a situation where the free market is not benefiting the consumer or the propane retailer at this point in time. It's just one of those situations, they're sending it where they can get the most money for it," says Rud.

 Rud says his office has contacted administrators in D.C about the product being exported out of the U.S. But, he says there's not much that can be done right now to keep the propane here.

Earlier this month the governor waived hours of service for vehicles hauling fuel. Nearly half of the country has similar waivers in place.

The state does offer assistance to those who need help paying their heating bill. For more information visit http://1.usa.gov/1aHE9DM and http://1.usa.gov/1kVqakw.

 

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