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Propane shortage drawing interest in Washington

Propane Pro
Propane prices in parts of Michigan have nearly doubled this winter

Michigan Senators Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow sent a letter this week to President Obama to deal with the propane shortage hitting the Midwest.

Propane is in short supply this winter for several reasons. Prices have doubled in some parts of Michigan.

Joe Ross is the spokesman for the Michigan Propane Gas Association. Ross says new propane supplies are coming from as far away as Texas.  

“There’s a huge supply chain. It involves hundreds of different companies,” says Ross, “It’s not like turning on your water so you can get more.”]

Levin and Stabenow want the Obama administration to reduce propane exports to ease the domestic shortage. The senators also want the government to investigate what role speculators are having on the price spike.

Ross says about 10% of Michiganders rely on propane for heat. Michigan is one of more than 30 states that have declared propane energy emergencies.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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