A pipeline company in Houston Texas must prioritize propane shipments to terminals in the Midwest and Northeast according to Bloomberg.

In an emergency action taken by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Enterprise Product Partners must immediately ship liquid propane gas to regions of the country hit hard by recent cold weather events. Two polar vortexes and high demand for heating have driven propone prices to new highs compared to prices along the Gulf Coast and warmer regions of the nation.  The fuel reached a record $4.90 a gallon on January 23.

“Propane is a major source of heating fuel for many people affected by this year’s cold weather,” said Natalie Joubert, Vice President for Policy at Consumer Energy Alliance. “The FERC order should help bring down home heating costs in the short term, but increasing propane production, pipeline capacity and storage is the best way to help prevent future spikes in propane prices.”

Trucks have been hauling propane from the Gulf Coast region for several weeks in an effort to meet increased demand. But much like crude oil and petroleum products, pipelines are the quickest and most efficient way to transport energy around the country.

*** Update***

The state of Colorado has also taken emergency action to curb propane prices.

Photo by J. Saper