Propane Shortage Puts Swaths of US in State of Emergency

Tuesday, 21 Jan 2014 08:52 PM

By Melissa Clyne

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
    A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
A propane shortage caused by increased demand during the frigid weather has large portions of the United States in a state of emergency.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich has joined counterparts Rick Snyder of Michigan, Scott Walker of Wisconsin, and Jan Brewer of Arizona in declaring states of emergency to expedite propane delivery.

On Sunday, the U.S. Department of Transportation issued an emergency declaration for commercial motor vehicle operations throughout the Midwest, New England, and the central Atlantic states. The interstate transport of propane is permitted under the declaration, and propane tank operators are allowed to drive more hours than usual, NBC News reports.

The DOT decision is a result of "extreme arctic cold weather conditions causing shortages and interruptions in the availability and delivery of propane and other home heating fuels."

Propane is commonly used to heat homes in areas that cannot be reached by natural gas lines. More than 14 million families use propane to fuel furnaces, water heaters, air conditioners, outdoor grills, fireplaces, driers and ranges, says the Washington-based Propane Education & Research Council.

It is also used on 865,000 U.S. farms for irrigation pumps and other farm equipment. Propane is considered an essential fuel for crop drying, fruit ripening and food refrigeration.

The cost of a gallon of propane has skyrocketed to $3.48 nationally, up nearly 20 cents in a month, says the Energy Information Administration. At $4.01 per gallon, Rhode Island's prices are the steepest, with Nebraska's the lowest at $1.92 per gallon. Prices are expected to continue to rise, at least through February.

While the polar vortex is blamed for the initial shortage, unrelated frigid air is also stretching other resources, including sand, a vital commodity needed to give vehicles traction during snow and ice storms. Costs of overtime, trucks, plows, and sand from earlier storms have battered state budgets.

Conditions aren't likely to improve anytime soon.

Fox News reported that 10 inches of snow could fall across New York City and parts of New Jersey on Tuesday, with the heaviest snowfall expected Tuesday night. Temperatures in North Dakota and parts of Minnesota plunged into the sub-zero range this week. 

That cold weather pattern is expected to stretch from Iowa to Maine this week.

Related stories:

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Obama Executive Order Gives Pay Raise to Federal Workers

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 22:36 PM

Federal workers and uniformed military service members are getting a 1 percent pay boost. . . .

Mental Illness History Ruled on Appeal to Not Bar Gun Ownership

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 22:14 PM

A federal appeals court concluded that a history of mental illness shouldn't bar citizens from owning a weapon in a firs . . .

China Arrests US Aid Worker on North Korean Border

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 21:56 PM

China has arrested an American Christian aid worker based near its border with North Korea, his lawyer said Saturday, as . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved