The Washington Times-Herald

Local News

February 5, 2014

Propane problems consulted by state

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security is reaching out to local officials concerning the propane shortage that is plaguing the Midwest.

“They briefed us on what the state is doing and at the same time they had some questions for us,” said Paul Goss with the Daviess County Emergency Management Agency.

One of the concerns of the state was whether there are nursing homes or schools in the area that are heated by propane. “To the best of our knowledge we don’t have any of those in Daviess County,” said Goss.

The briefing came after several elected state and federal officials made calls for conservation and a relaxation of rules for transporting the gas. Industry officials call the shortage the result of a perfect storm. Increases in exports combined with a large corn crop that saw farmers use more for drying grain and an extended cold winter have dried up supplies and caused prices to spike. “The prices have begun to moderate some,” said Steve Myers with Myers’ L.P. Gas. “It still is considerably higher than it was at the beginning of the summer.”

Both Gov. Mike Pence and the Indiana Farm Bureau called for farmers who had propane left over from drying their grain this fall to contact their supplier and get it back into the system. “I haven’t had anyone contact us about doing that,” said Myers. “That’s one of those things that sounds pretty good, but I’m not certain how we’d do it. It’s a lot of work to pump out a tank and bring it back in.”

Still there may be some propane shuffling going on in the farm community. “There may be some guys with grain operations making deals with livestock operators,” said Myers. “I’ve also heard there may be some farmers moving tanks around trying to heat their turkey barns.”

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