Lawmakers Continue to Investigate Propane Price Hike

By Lindsay Clein , Eric Redus |

Published 02/12 2014 09:34PM

Updated 02/12 2014 10:20PM

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. --  Missouri lawmakers are aiming to prevent another propane crisis from occurring in the future.

Many people are still struggling to fill their tanks and pay for the little propane they can get.    

Ten percent of Missouri's population uses propane, and in southwest Missouri, it's an even higher percentage

Propane prices are still hovering at three to four dollars or higher a gallon.  Whether people are using it for their homes or for their businesses, the cost is putting pain in a lot of pockets.

"We have electric heat in here," says London Calling Pasty Company Owner Neil Gomme.  "But we have propane to cook with.  Our oven is going all day."

As the heat in the oven rises, so does the price the pasty company has to pay. 

London Calling's double decker bus sits proudly on Glenstone Ave.  The company allows customers to take a bite out of Britain.

The business relies on three propane tanks to cook up tasty food for its customers year-round.

"The weather is not dependent on how much we use," says Gomme.  "Because we aren't using it for heating, we are using it to cook our products.  We've got to consistently use it all the time so if it keeps going on like this, it will have a bigger effect on us as we go on."

The company recently extended its hours and also added an additional propane tank. 

"And every two weeks we are going through that propane," says Gomme.  "So we are filling up pretty regularly."

Lawmakers in Jefferson City have been investigating the propane price hike.  They say demand is still high, but prices seem to be going down.  They say the warmer weather in the coming days should also help.

"I think as the supply continues to get better, the price will continue to go down before we use that higher priced propane," says Missouri Representative Lynn Morris.  "And the price will start averaging back down.  We are just trying to make sure now that we get an adequate supply and get that price down to where people can afford it."

Which gives businesses like London Calling some hope for light at the end of this dark tunnel.

"We do hope it goes down, there's no question," says Gomme.  "We'd like it not to affect our business, so the fact prices may become steady again and reduced will be very helpful to us."

Morris says lawmakers are trying to check to see if any price gouging has occurred.  He says if there was any, he doesn't believe it came from the local level.

He says he's expecting to receive a report on this issue from Governor Nixon's office Thursday.

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