Iowa takes steps to relieve propane crisis - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa takes steps to relieve propane crisis

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WATERLOO (KWWL) - Iowans along with others throughout the entire Midwest continue to suffer from the propane shortage.

One gallon of propane now can cost as much as $4.50; that price is down several cents from $4.70 on Monday.

According to the Iowa Department of Agriculture, a below-average winter combined with drying grains has fueled the shortage. A higher demand for propane, both domestically and abroad, hasn't helped either.

"Sometimes we've had heavy drying seasons but not colder than normal winters, or vise versa, but we ended up with both of those," said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey.

Northey said Iowa has increased the amount of trucks on the roads for faster propane delivery.

Drivers' hours have also been extended, as Northey said multiple drivers are sent on one trip at times to maximize time on the road. Anywhere from two to seven dozen trucks are on Iowa roads now daily, while hundreds wheel across the Midwest.

Also this week, Gov. Terry Branstad's administration called upon Texas Gov. Rick Perry to waive Texas' requirements for propane trucks to speed up delivery to Iowa.

"To ask them to pass a waiver that would eliminate the 30-day wait, again, trying to get more product into the state of Iowa so that we can stabilize the prices," said Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds.

Northey said the Department of Agriculture plans to conduct another survey Wednesday on propane prices. He suspects the price per gallon will decline slightly in the next few days.
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