Representatives of the propane industry warn if temperatures don’t go up and demand doesn’t go down soon, Midwest propane supplies actually may run out. Jeff LaPan is an account manager for a Minnesota company that sells propane on the wholesale market in Iowa. He says last week Midwesterners used about 1.2 million barrels of propane and there’s about 5 million barrels left in storage in the region.
“At that pace, we potentially could run out of propane…sometime potentially mid- to the end of February,” La Pan says. “It’s a potential.”
LaPan testified Monday afternoon before a group of lawmakers in Des Moines, many of whom are hearing horror stories from families who’re using space heaters and closing off sections of their homes to try to deal with the high price of propane, plus the shortage of supply.
LaPan told legislators a combination of factors led to this year’s shortage — the shutdown of a key pipeline, below-average supplies on October 1st, higher demand for propane to dry the 2013 harvest and higher demand from homeowners due to frigid temperatures.
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