Hillary Clinton’s anti-propane platform strikes nerve with industry leaders

July 18, 2016 By    
Hillary Clinton refers to propane as “high cost” and “polluting” in a briefing on her campaign website. Photo: iStock.com/andykatz

Hillary Clinton refers to propane as “high cost” and “polluting” in a briefing on her campaign website. Photo: iStock.com/andykatz

A statement on Hillary Clinton’s campaign website does not sit well with Phil Squair and his colleagues at the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA).

As part of a briefing titled “Hillary Clinton’s Plan for Advanced Buildings: Creating Jobs, Reducing Pollution and Saving Americans Money,” the Clinton campaign takes a swing at propane.

According to the briefing, Clinton’s plan will “phase down the use of expensive and highly polluting fuel oil and propane to heat homes and businesses over the long term, improving air quality and protecting households from price spikes while reducing [U.S.] oil consumption by more than 300 million barrels per year.”

Propane is mentioned later in the briefing, as well, but it is seemingly lopped in with an attack on fuel oil. The second mention follows a bullet-pointed goal that reads, “Phase out heating oil over the long term.”

With the exception of one reference to propane, the entire supporting paragraph of that bullet point reads as an attack on fuel oil. Yet, propane is lopped in with fuel oil.

The paragraph reads: “High cost and polluting fuel oil and propane are still used for home heating in much of the country. In New Hampshire, for example, nearly 70 [percent] of all families heat their homes with oil products. This not only makes household budgets vulnerable to price spikes but also contributes to local air pollution and increases [U.S.] dependence on oil. Clinton will encourage the adoption of efficiency technologies to save families money and reduce pollution from oil-fueled home heating systems and award challenge grants to cities and states that replace oil-fueled residential and commercial boilers and furnaces with cleaner alternatives, such as New York City’s successful PlanNYC program.”

To address the mischaracterization of propane in Clinton’s plan, NPGA scheduled a phone call with a Clinton campaign representative. Unfortunately for the propane industry, the call didn’t go as NPGA had hoped.

“We called them up and said we want you to change this because you’re saying things about our fuel that are not right,” says Squair, senior vice president of public and governmental affairs at NPGA. “They hid behind the MO of a campaign, saying if we change this now they’ll say we caved under pressure from the propane industry. They said it’s just a platform and nobody will care about this stuff. They sort of blew us off.”

The phone call didn’t last much more than 10 minutes, Squair adds.

“When propane and fuel oil are linked together, that’s code for [pitting] delivered fuels [against] others that are more utility delivered,” he says. “When you have a presidential candidate proposing that delivered fuels are not a good way of serving Americans, that’s something we’ve been fighting against.”

About the Author:

Kevin Yanik was a senior editor at LP Gas Magazine.

3 Comments on "Hillary Clinton’s anti-propane platform strikes nerve with industry leaders"

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  1. Alex Spataru says:

    It’s risky to take sides in Presidential politics. Let’s be clear: LP Gas and fuel oil are not going away – no matter what some uneducated speech writer puts in front of Secretary Clinton. From our experience w/election politics – it’s more productive to educate rather than get into a sharp dialog w/uneducated folks who operate under tight time constraints. An adversarial stance vs. the Clinton staff may further polarize rather than help make the industry’s case. Having non-technical folks debate technical issues is always tricky. This is a classic example where underlying technology and economic basics must first be established from which common ground organically evolves. This is no way meant to impugn the fine work that Mr. Squair continues to perform for the industry.

    • JK says:

      So you’re saying people who are Hillary supporters are superior to everyone else? Get off your high horse. She wants to put people out of work while raising taxes. She is looking to put more and more laws into effect pushing Obama’s agenda to control Americans further. She will ruin this nation. Vote for her if you HATE America!

  2. clazy says:

    If Hillary’s staff actually understood the issue, they would have been grateful for the correction. “Caving” to the propane industry? There’s no comparison between fuel oil and propane. These people are simply ignorant of the activities they want to regulate. Pathetic and typical.