A move to fund additional winter heating costs was announced Monday in Jefferson City.

Senate Leader Tom Dempsey, R-St. Charles, supports the recent decision of Sen. Mike Parson, R-Bolivar, decision to ask Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster to investigate the steep increase in the price of propane gas this week. 

“I am concerned about the burden this massive increase in wholesale price will bring on Missouri propane consumers. While this may be a short-term problem, it has the potential to have long-term effects on our consumers. We support Sen. Parson’s efforts to investigate the increase, and we are taking a more in-depth look at the cause,” said Dempsey.

In less than 24 hours this week, the price of propane rose $1.25 at the wholesale level to $3.55 per gallon. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, between September and October of 2013, exports of propane from the United States rose by 73,000 barrels a day.  That level of exports so close to winter almost guaranteed a domestic shortage.  Because extremely cold temperatures remain in the forecast in the coming week, the situation could get worse. Some suppliers indicate that even with the higher prices, the propane simply isn’t available to buy.“What is particularly frustrating is domestic production of propane has increased dramatically in recent years,” Parson said.  “For this industry to artificially create a shortage that Missourians will have to dig deeper into their pockets to pay for is something we should not tolerate.  I urge Attorney General Chris Koster to do everything in his power to hold those who created this disaster accountable.  As chairman of the Senate Committee on Governmental Accountability, I intend to do all I can to assist in this effort. While I am upset with those who are responsible, I want to stress this is in no way the fault of our local sellers of propane. This artificial shortage hurts them as well, because they are not able to sell product if they are unable to purchase the amounts they need to supply their customers.  The blame for this lies squarely at the feet of the manufacturers.”

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