Welcome to The President’s Blog

Welcome to The President’s Blog, featuring PAPGA President Harold F. Sweet

Harold F. Sweet

Hello and welcome to my 1st blog entry.  I hope you check back often to read my latest entry!

Sometimes it’s hard for Pennsylvanians to keep up with all of the new products and changing prices in our industry. Great service and value from your propane marketer can save you money and time over the long haul. If you are happy with your present marketer and the price of propane (even if it’s a few cents higher) then you have true peace of mind, which is the best place to be. 


Are your children riding on a propane school bus? Think about how much time they spend on a school bus. While many students take the bus every weekday, we don’t often talk about the quality of their buses, or how buses affect learning – or, our communities.  School buses powered by clean, American propane aren’t new to the scene and school districts are quickly choosing propane over diesel. Why?

It’s Cleaner – much, much cleaner. Picture the height of a younger student compared to the height of a bus tailpipe. That student typically faces a cloud of diesel smoke, inhaling harmful diesel particulate matter. The particulate matter in diesel exhaust is an identified carcinogen (or, capable of causing cancer) that also aggravates asthma and other breathing issues.

It Saves Money – money that can go right back into your student’s classroom. Modern diesel buses can drain a transportation department’s budget due to the extra components required to keep them operating cleanly, on top of generally higher fuel costs. Propane is already a low-emissions fuel, and doesn’t require schools to pay for these extra components. Historically, propane also costs less at the pump than diesel, even as fuel prices fluctuate.

It’s Quieter – with propane, loud, smelly school buses are a thing of the past. Propane engines operate noticeably quieter than diesel, which has a significant impact on students’ safety. In a quieter bus, the driver can concentrate – on the road ahead, and on their passengers.  On top of improving safety, propane buses provide a calm start to the school day to help students pay better attention in the classroom.

Safety & Propane Buses – propane buses have been trusted for their safety since the 1980’s. Like conventionally fueled buses, they meet rigorous U.S. FMVSS and Canadian CMVSS motor vehicle safety standards. The fuel also does not ignite easily — 940 degrees Fahrenheit, compared to 500 degrees for gasoline. Propane is an approved fuel listed in the 1990 Clean Air Act; it’s non-poisonous to humans and non-toxic to the environment. It poses no harm to groundwater, surface water, or soil.

You can play an important role in your districts decision by making your voice heard. Even if your district isn’t looking to change buses soon, your voice will make a difference when the time comes. Talking to your school about switching to propane buses could be as easy as emailing or writing a letter to your district’s transportation office.

Thanks for checking in and talk with you soon!

Keep up with current news, events and updates at our Facebook & Twitter feeds.

Harold Sweet

Pennsylvania Propane Family Portraits Series: The Barber Family of Ebensburg

The 3rd installment of the Pennsylvania Propane Family Portrait Series. Follow the vision of Dick Barber, the son of Italian Immigrants Katrina and Sam Barbiere, as he built the family business from scratch. Barber Oil & Propane is celebrating 50 years in business in 2016.

Pennsylvania Propane Gas Association Joins Energy Infrastructure Alliance

For more information, contact:
Shelby Bell

Harrisburg, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Propane Gas Association (PAPGA), a member-focused trade association providing services that promote the state’s propane industry, has joined the Pennsylvania Energy Infrastructure Alliance (PEIA), a broad-based coalition of labor, agriculture, manufacturing and other business interests that support private investment in pipeline and other energy infrastructure developments.

“Pennsylvania residents and businesses use propane because it’s a clean, efficient and versatile source of energy,” said Mike Mutter, PAPGA President. “However, our communities need a dependable and safe transportation system to ensure that they have access to propane and the other clean-burning fuels they’ve come to rely upon daily.

“Investing in energy infrastructure ensures that residents benefit from opportunities for in-demand careers and continue to have access to our affordable, homegrown resources,” Mike Mutter added. “Our members have made it abundantly clear they support essential pipeline projects that help to ensure a strong, sustainable economy for our state, and energy independence for our nation.”

PAPGA was formed in 1947 to offer opportunities to learn through training and networking with peers, and to aid with legislative issues that contribute to operating a safe and successful industry. In addition to its continued focus on education, networking and representing the interest of Pennsylvania’s propane businesses to the government, PAPGA also assists members in remaining current on topics vital to the propane industry.

Pennsylvania Energy Infrastructure AllianceThe Pennsylvania Energy Infrastructure Alliance was launched June 8, 2015 by the Washington County Chamber of Commerce and Delaware County Chamber of Commerce as the founding members. There are nearly two dozen PEIA members today.

Visit www.paallianceforenergy.com for more information, or on Twitter @PAllies4Energy.



Pennsylvania Propane Gas Association Joins Energy Infrastructure Alliance

Propane Water Heaters: Save Money and Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Is it time to pull the plug on your water heater?

You may not spend too much time thinking about your water heater. But even if it’s out of sight, out of mind, it’s still working hard for you, day after day. That means it ages fast; a year for you is like 10 for your water heater. So how old is yours really?

The Pennsylvania Propane Gas Association and the Propane Education & Research Council have developed a short but very informative quiz to see if it’s time to pull the plug on your old water heater, and start shopping for a newer, more efficient propane system.

Hit this link to take the quiz!

Home Improvement Expert Danny Lipford tells us a little more about Propane-Powered Water Heaters, including the amazing efficiency of Tankless Propane Water Heaters in this video!

If you want to learn more about propane water heaters, contact your local propane provider. If you need help locating a local expert, use this link to enter your zip code and we will provide contact information for you.

The Pennsylvania Propane Gas Association (PAPGA) is a member-focused trade association providing services that communicate, educate and promote the propane industry in Pennsylvania. The association was formed in 1947 to offer opportunities to learn through training and networking with peers, and to aid with legislative issues that contribute to operating a safe and successful industry. PAPGA continues to focus on education, networking and representing the interest of Pennsylvania’s propane businesses to the government, while assisting members in remaining current on topics vital to the propane industry. The Pennsylvania Propane Gas Association is affiliated with the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) and the Propane Education and Research Council (PERC).


Hours of Service Waiver Extends Maximum Driving Time for Motor Carriers Transporting Fuels

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation

January 27, 2016

Harrisburg, PA – Transportation Secretary Leslie S. Richards has signed an hours of service waiver to extend the maximum driving time to 14 hours for motor carriers engaged in the transportation of fuels.

The waiver was effective as of January 26, 2016 at midnight and remains in effect until February 6 at 11:59 p.m.

Exemption is also granted from the requirements of the 60/70-hour limits rule. This rule requires drivers to stop driving upon accumulating 60 or 70 on-duty hours (including all on-duty and driving time) over a period of seven or eight consecutive days, respectively. Any period of seven or eight consecutive days may end with the beginning of any off-duty period of 34 or more consecutive hours.

Drivers are reminded that the waiver must be in their possession when traveling extended hours. This also only applies when the contents being transported are exclusively listed under the “Type of Operation.”

For the latest information regarding the state’s response emergency response efforts, visit www.pema.pa.gov.

Media contact:  Rich Kirkpatrick, Transportation – 717-783-8800, rikirkpatr@pa.gov       


The text of the waiver follows:


HARRISBURG, PA 17101-1900

Pursuant to the Proclamation of Disaster Emergency issued by the Governor on January 21, 2016, 75 Pa. C.S. §6108, and the authority granted in 49 C.F.R. §390.23 and 67 Pa. Code Chapter 231, the waivers in this exemption apply to certain motor carriers engaged in operations necessary to respond to the emergency declared by the Governor. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation hereby issues the following exemption:
TYPE OF OPERATION: Transportation of propane gas and oil for hearting purposes.
EXTENT OF EXEMPTION: Amends Exemption 2016-01 relating to the requirement to comply with driver hour of service limitations.
EFFECTIVE DATE: January 25, 2016 2400 hours.
TERMINATION DATE: February 6, 2016 2359 hours.
1. This exemption applies statewide to the transportation of propane gas and oil for heating purposes.
2. The maximum driving time is extended from 11 hours to 14 hours. Ten consecutive hours off-duty must be taken between the 14 hours of driving time.
3. Operators are exempted from the requirements of the 60/70 hour rule.
4. This waiver does not otherwise exempt these motor carriers and drivers from the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code (Title 75), the Pennsylvania Crimes Code (Title 18), and motor carrier regulations at 67 Pennsylvania Code, Chapter 231 and 49 C. F. R. Parts 390 – 399.
5. Title 67, Pennsylvania Code, Chapter 175, Vehicle Equipment and Inspection, remains in effect for all vehicles registered in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

DATE: January 25, 2016

Leslie S. Richards
Secretary of Transportation