ILLINOIS (WIFR) – The freezing temperatures may have many of us cranking up the heat in our homes and that’s causing a major problem for those who use propane to stay warm. Right now there’s a critical shortage. It’s so serious, the governors of Wisconsin and Illinois are declaring a propane supply emergency today.
It may be freezing outside, but some 1 day old pigs are nice and warm inside the barn where it’s a balmy 70 degrees.
Like many farmers, John Lang depends on Propane gas to keep the piglets warm.
“They need it to be at least 65-70 degrees. If I didn’t have propane, those little pigs, it would be really tough to keep them warm.”
Now, Lang and farmers across Illinois may have problems keeping their barns warm enough. The frigid temperatures this winter have put a pinch on the supply of propane. The shortage is so serious Illinois declared it an emergency, easing regulations on truck drivers so they can get gas from out of state, back to Illinois quicker.
“We are getting by and it appears to be somewhat better, but it is, the way the industry is dealing with that is raising the prices, which tend to cut off demand.”
That means farmers now only have to worry about having enough gas, they also may have to pay hundreds of dollars more for it. The price for propane is up 300%. Lang says he got lucky, locking in a much lower price over the summer.
“An extra 300% on 4,000 gallons would add up to quite a bit, you know. You’re talking about probably, you know, $5,000-$6,000.”
Lang hopes his 4,000 gallons gets him through the winter but says his animals are more important than the money to pay for extra gas.
We spoke with a number of different propane companies today that all said they’re optimistic the shortage won’t last much longer. Of course, that all depends on the weather though.
Wisconsin lawmakers will now help dealers secure loans to purchase gas and release more money to help low-income propane users.