Amarillo, TX - A shortage of propane in some states is hurting the pocketbooks of Panhandle propane consumers.
While Texas is not one of the states declaring a state of emergency over propane shortages, area consumers are still paying the price for the high demand and low inventory. Propane is costing consumers about a dollar more per gallon than it normally does around this time of year.
Extreme winter conditions across the nation, combined with Midwest farmers using more propane than usual to dry corn crops this past fall, has left some states scrambling for the gas.
"We're not having trouble getting it (propane) right now," said Gordon Gabert of Boyd's Equipment. "But in the northeast, they're putting them on allocation and they're having to dole out propane a little bit to every customer."
Gabert said the Panhandle is in the clear when it comes to the shortage because most area propane comes from the Valero plant in Dumas. However, purchasing propane is still expensive.
"Now with the high prices, it makes it a struggle because our cost is way up and it all just trickles down," said Gabert. "We have to pay for it and it's costing us double."
Gabert said the higher prices are affecting residents who use propane to heat their homes the most. "They're struggling with it. They don't like it. Propane is one of the highest fuels to heat your home with and it's more of a convenience fuel. It's not a bargain."
Gabert has been working in the propane industry for 25 years and said he has never seen prices this high.