Towns Hit Hard by Skyrocketing Propane Costs

Posted at: 01/27/2014 6:52 PM
By: Sean Boswell

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- While everyone in the Midwest is battling the bitter cold, some residents are getting heated up by high propane costs.

If you ask Randy Stephenson, the cost of liquid propane is too high.

“Utterly ridiculous,” said Stephenson. “We’re stuck.”

For Dexter, a town without natural gas lines, paying $4.95 per gallon for propane is the only way to heat homes and businesses.

"If I have to fill a customer’s tank with say 300 gallons, that is $1,500, that's more than they spend on LP normally all winter," said Stephenson.

"It seems to go up every day," said Dexter resident Marilyn Tucker.

Tucker lives just down the road from Stephenson’s business. Just like everyone else, she's cold.

"You have to have the heat on," said Tucker.

In a town like Dexter filled with elderly residents and people on fixed income Tucker says it’s a great concern.

The problem, according to Stephenson, lies all across the country.

"There's 23 states involved in this, that are short of LP," said Stephenson. "There's no reason for liquid propane to be worth three dollars more one week than it was three weeks ago."

Stephenson believes farmers using propane for crops has been one of the causes for the shortage.

"We dried a lot of corn in the Midwest this year, which we hadn't done for three years, and then as soon as we got done drying corn, the cold hit,” said Stephenson.

Stephenson says there is hope.

"They're starting to ship LP up from Texas no through the pipeline and hopefully it will get to us shortly, and we can get all the LP we want,” said Stephenson.