PACIFIC, MO (KTVI)-- Illinois Governor Pat Quinn Monday declared a state of emergency and a Missouri state senator demanded an investigation over propane prices and supplies.
Propane is in short supply and the price is skyrocketing.
For thousands of people in rural areas that means either pay a fortune or not be able to heat your home.
Propane prices have doubled even tripled in some areas. Some regions are short of propane. Add the brutal cold, and that can be a critical situation.
Catherine Rankovic's converted cabin near Pacific is heated with propane.
Assuming you can call 59 degrees heated. The soaring price has caused her to cut back.
And while prices are up, supply is way down. There are several reasons for higher prices and lower supply.
A brutally cold winter, the repair shutdown of a major propane pipeline from Canada, the use of propane heaters by farmers last fall to dry out a soaked harvest.
Back at Catherine Rankovic's she says she tried to order more propane.
Her supplier is Valley's Park's Geldback Petroleum. They told us they couldn't talk to us and gave us a corporate phone number in Pennsylvania, since Geldback is now owned by the Amerigas Conglomorate near Philadelphia. We asked them about refusing to deliver Catherine Rankovic less than 200 gallons:
Is this a policy that you guys have started, that you only taker minimum orders of large amounts?
They told usand Catherine that is not their policyand it would be taken care of.
The good news? Catherine Rankovic will probably get the propane she ordered.
The bad news? It'll cost three times what it did last winter.
So when might the supply squeeze end? When the weather gets warmer, and homeowners don't need the supply anymore. And the price? Analysts say it'll come down, but they don't know when or how much.