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Missouri Attorney General Launches Propane Price Increase Investigation
NEOSHO, MO.--- The recent spike in propane gas prices has triggered an investigation by Missouri's Attorney General Chris Koster. Missouri's Attorney General Chris Koster's Office is concerned families won't be able to heat their homes or care for their livestock.
In a statement Koster says "We are currently investigating all complaints, and working with businesses and agencies in nine other states across the Midwest to determine the cause of these price increases."
Businesses like Al's Gas Company in Neosho are among the many distributors calling the price increase the perfect storm.
"With the extremely worst winter in a decade, all the corn they're producing for ethanol, between that and the bad weather and the exports, it's turned into the perfect storm and everything just went," said Charlie Neidert, Al's Gas Company Owner.
For consumers like Bill Thogmartin, he says his house renters are taking the hardest hit.
"They're kind of a week to week type deal and they can't afford to put the propane in the tank at four dollars a gallon," said Bill Thogmartin, Neosho Propane Gas Consumer.
He says he's had to find other ways to heat the homes.
"Most of the people we've got in house, we're buying electric heaters for them. We're bringing more wood than what we've ever burnt, and we started selling wood that we haven't sold in 10 years," said Thogmartin.
Propane experts like Neidert say everyone is having to cut back and use alternative heating methods.
"Well, what we're doing is we're making smaller deliveries to everybody. Instead of people filling their tanks, they're half filling them and so we're making twice as many stops," said Neidert.
Even though the work is more tedious, the hassle is worth it to make sure people are warm.
"You know we'll be working twice as hard, but we're keeping our customers from running out. We hope that will give us a few more days to there," said Neidert.
Propane gas was about $2 in December of 2013 and has spiked to about $5 in the last few weeks.