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Propane Scarce, Crops Threatened in Freeze

Source: DOE, Click on map for larger image
Jan. 16, 2013 - A continued through the Southwest but was expected to break. The five-day streak of cold weather caused causing alarm concern among agricultural producers and creating shortages of winter fuel.

California citrus growers have spent $23 million during this freeze to protect their crops.

Arizona's governor declared a state of emergency and lifted transport regulations for the delivery of propane as a prolong freeze settles on her state.

Gov. Janice Brewer signed a declaration allowing propane to be delivered during evening hours to alleviate shortages. "This sudden spike in demand has depleted propane supplies throughout the Southwest," the declaration said. "Private sector efforts to respond to the propane shortage have been stymied by hours of service regulations that limit the number of hours who supply the propane can work."

A project four-night freeze has not only caused the fuel shortage, but it has also caused concern among shelters for the disadvantaged and among produce brokers who warn that the freezes could kill crops such as lettuce, leading to a spike in the price of the foods.

The temperatures are forecast to drop into the low 30's and 20's this week, weather which is unusual for a state the has some of the highest solar radiation in the country. Arizona has one of the lowest consumption of energy per capita (221 million BTUs per person per year) and it ranks among the lowest in spending on energy ($2,662 per person).

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