As your elected National State Director, I want to provide you with important updates and a summary of activities that took place at the most recent National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) Board of Directors meeting held September 26 – 28 in Scottsdale, Arizona.
NPGA’s committees and sections held meetings to discuss issues of importance to all propane industry members. I encourage you to take the time to read my report.
Thank you for the opportunity to represent you.
2022 Fall Board of Directors, Committee & Section Meetings
Governmental Affairs Committee
The Governmental Affairs Committee convened to receive updates from NPGA staff and discuss pressing advocacy issues impacting the propane industry. As is customary, the Committee broke into three taskforce sessions – federal legislative, federal regulatory, and state.
In the legislative session, NPGA staff provided updates on the recently-passed Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 and discussed this legislation’s potential opportunities and shortcomings.
During the regulatory session, association staff provided updates on the numerous regulatory actions the Biden Administration is pursuing through the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency, along with the potential impacts these regulations could have if they come to fruition.
Lastly, in the State breakout session, discussions focused on recent ban the ban activities, including states that recently passed related legislation and opportunities for additional states to do so in upcoming legislative sessions. The group discussed efforts taken by localities to ban new gas connections and encourage the electrification of buildings. NPGA is currently tracking such activity by 80 municipalities across 15 states. These ordinances seek to curtail the industry’s core revenue stream: space and water heating gallons by residential and commercial customers.
And at public utility commissions, fuel-switching continues to be problematic. Utilities are trying to offer subsidies for building and transportation electrification schemes. Using ratepayer money in this fashion is anti-competitive and distorts the marketplace in which propane must compete for customers.
Propane Supply & Logistics
RBN’s Energy Rusty Braziel gave a presentation on current supply inventories and potential issues. NPGA’s Twana Aiken gave a crop update to coincide with current supply trends, and NPGA CEO & President Steve Kaminski gave a brief update on Enbridge Line 5 and FERC. All NPGA members are encouraged to participate in NPGA’s webinar series: Preparing for Peak Demand.
Marketer Section Vice Chair, Chad Kroening, reviewed highlights from the district breakouts and reminded all members that they are invited to participate in district breakout sessions, which are held via Zoom prior to the Marketer Meeting. NPGA’s Bruce Swiecicki gave an update regarding the proposal to ban unvented heaters by ASHRAE; NPGA and other members of the coalition will file appeals to protest this ban. PERC’s Tucker Perkins gave an update on the activities being pursued by the Council. The section meeting featured a panel discussion on Marketer Emergency Preparedness, with Rob Scott of Scott & Associates, an expert regarding wildfires, Chief Kelly Baggs of the Scottsdale Fire Department, and Eric Sears, NPGA State Association Relations Manager.
Changes to 2023 Edition of NFPA 58
The Cylinder Exchange Council met to review the changes that will appear in the 2023 edition of NFPA 58, including the new inspection requirements for cylinder valves and “face seals.” In addition, the Council discussed the ongoing project begun by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the National Conference on Weights and Measures. These organizations are gathering data on the tare weight of grill cylinders and will publish a report later this year with the results and any future actions they intend to take.
The Manufacturers Section discussed some notable changes including new provisions that will allow the general public to refuel propane vehicles; new requirements for purging bulk plant piping systems into and out of service; and the clarification of requirements for protecting container openings and piping systems.
The PropanePAC Steering Committee held its meeting and discussed current fundraising efforts, PAC events in Scottsdale, disbursements, and possible events for next year. During the meeting, the committee had a thorough conversation on possible events to hold next year for the PAC and ways to get more NPGA members involved to increase fundraising efforts.
In addition to the PropanePAC Steering Committee meeting, the PAC hosted multiple events throughout the week, including a PropanePAC Reception, a Propane Politics and Coffee event, and a Spa and Golf outing. While all events were well attended, PAC members were most excited to hear from political guest speaker Mike Noble on the upcoming elections during the Propane Politics and Coffee event. Attendees heard about how redistricting, voter turnout, and inflation may impact which political party will be in power on Capitol Hill next year. To finish the week, a group of PropanePAC donors joined the PAC’s golf and spa fundraiser.
National Propane Gas Foundation
- The 2022-2023 scholarship cycle is complete. The Committee awarded 110 scholarships for a total of $147,000. The application for the next cycle opens on December 15.
- The silent auction in Scottsdale, Arizona raised approximately $25,000.
- The 2022 Corporate Partners Campaign raised $61,500 from 34 donors.
- On August 31, 2022, the CR&P Subcommittee recommended and the Executive Committee approved a formal proposal to transition the NPGF Steering and Full Scholarship Committees to a Standing Committee of NPGA.
Please contact Maril Olson, NPGF Manager, for more information.
Women in Propane Council Update
The Women in Propane (WIP) hosted a productive meeting in Scottsdale and announced their 2023 – 2024 leadership:
|Chair:||Paula Summers, Vision Financial Group|
|Vice Chair:||Bridget Piraino, Anova|
|Treasurer:||Mandy Swanson, AmeriGas|
|Association Officer:||Tonya Crow, GROWMARK|
|Immediate Past Chair:||Jennifer Jackson, AmeriGas|
|Founding Chair:||Nancy Coop, Cetane Associates|
|Board Advisor:||Natalie Peal, Retired|
The Council is solidly in the black with the continued income from DiSC on the Road, and the additional funds raised at the extremely successful 10th Anniversary Summit Celebration at Expo in April. The Council’s “Through the Lens” podcast series is well underway and the first of their “Lunch & Learn” webinar series begins with the topic “Conflict Resolution” on November 3.
Board meeting guest speaker Kathleen Quinn Votaw, an expert in workforce recruitment and retention, spoke about “Putting People First.” Votaw will speak on “Improving Work Culture” at the Southeastern Expo & International Propane Expo next April. For more information about WIP, please see their website.
NPGA Welcomes New Directors
John Brooks, Brooks Gas Co. Inc., Missouri State Director
Terry Davis, Country Propane, Iowa State Director
Mark Porth, CHS Inc., Arkansas State Director