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Area Family Feels Sting of High Propane Prices

Rising prices have forced Jeff Cole and his family to make changes at their home in Turney.
(TURNEY, Mo.) Jeff Cole lives on a farm in Turney, Missouri.

He, like many others, uses propane daily. But, rising prices have forced Cole and his family to change their daily routine.

"It's had a significant impact on our family, not only is it expensive but trying to stretch it out is difficult. We use it daily we just try and stretch it out," says Cole.

He says his family can't afford to use propane as a source of heat for his home so he saves money by burning firewood.

Cole says he even keeps his home furnace on 65 degrees to cut costs.

"We just layer up and put on a sweater. If you spend enough time outside when you go in the house 65 feels pretty warm," added Cole.

Cole purchased 200 gallons of propane two weeks ago at $2.19.  He says if prices continue to go up, he's not sure what he will do.

"I'd have to try to figure out where to come up with several thousand dollars out of the family budget which would have been a challenge," says Cole.

One tank holds 500 gallons of propane, but with costs steadily climbing it could cost nearly $2,000 to fill one tank.

The Missouri Attorney General has launched an investigation on why prices are so high.

Attorney General Chris Koster released a statement saying, "we are currently investigating all complaints, and working with businesses and agencies in 9 other states across the Midwest to determine the cause of these price increases."

Until then, Cole will continue to use alternative methods to save money. He hopes once the weather warms up and the demand goes down, prices will fall.

U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill has also asked for a national consumer protection agency to investigate the spike in propane prices.

"I request the CFTC investigate the propane market in the Midwest and ensure that any supply shortages or price increases are not due to harmful
manipulation," said McCaskill in a news release.

Nationally, the average price for propane is $4.97.
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