Help the propane industry run a clean campaign

November 12, 2020 By    

Election Day has come and gone in the U.S., but for the propane industry and its own platform focused on the future, the work has only just begun.

That was never more evident than during a series of online meetings held over several days in late September.

The National Propane Gas Association (NPGA), already forced to cancel the industry’s largest trade show earlier this year, was faced with the challenge of engaging membership virtually during its fall board meeting.

Credit the association for the creativity it showed in hosting a large variety of online events and meetings – from a coffee morning with leadership and panel discussions, to propane trivia and other social events, to a propane cooking demonstration.

Aside from the virtual events aimed in part to strengthen those personal connections in the industry, the sessions also revealed the path that NPGA and its leaders are looking to follow in the coming months.

The fight

NPGA Chairman Denis Gagne of Eastern Propane & Oil set the virtual stage when he said the industry is facing the “anti-gas fight of our lifetime.”

Industry leaders are calling these pro-electrification, anti-gas efforts across the country an “existential threat” to propane and a “crisis” that must be addressed immediately.

If these proposals have not yet reached your state or county, be on the lookout, Gagne warns.

NPGA realizes what the propane industry is up against. Its team tracks bills around the country and has watched as these gas-ban threats have continued to surface.

The association says it’s gearing up to fight the electrification and decarbonization movement, whether at the state or federal level and no matter which party has gained control in Washington, D.C.

“NPGA is well-prepared for either administration, to champion propane as a solution as we always do,” says NPGA President and CEO Steve Kaminski.

During the board meeting, NPGA revealed that it intends to expand its role in tackling these issues head-on. The association is looking to earmark $435,000 in the next fiscal year to fight the gas-ban battle and target policymakers in areas where it’s seeing the greatest threats.

The wins so far

There are positives on this front. Gagne recognized the Western Propane Gas Association for staving off an electric-only appliance mandate in California, and four states – Arizona, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Tennessee – have passed “ban the municipal gas ban” laws, giving consumers a choice when it comes to the energy used in building construction or renovation projects.

NPGA says it will continue to push the passage of these bills in as many states as possible, but such an undertaking can’t be carried out alone.

“When these anti-gas proposals come to your city, county and state, we’re going to need you and your allies to help,” says Kara Tucker of Pennsylvania’s Koppy’s Propane, who leads an NPGA task force on state engagement. “What we see as the only thing that can slow down these kinds of proposals is a large group of business and industry leaders being vocal about the negative impacts on the community.”

NPGA continues to work alongside the Propane Education & Research Council, which has upped its environmental messaging push. Both offer tools and resources to help educate propane marketers and outside audiences about propane’s role in the environment. NPGA is also collaborating with other trade organizations that believe banning gas is bad policy.

“There is nothing more important right now than to combat the existential threat our industry faces, and we all need to be engaged in it,” says Jeff Stewart, president of California-based Blue Star Gas and the treasurer of NPGA.

Let’s go win the fight.

About the Author:

Brian Richesson is the editor in chief of LP Gas Magazine. Contact him at or 216-706-3748.

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